WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - One local lawmaker calls it “the most important issue facing our society and country today.”
Outside Rep. David Rouzer’s office at the New Hanover County Government Center on Friday, Sen. Harper Peterson (D-NHC) joined environmental groups 350 Wilmington, 350 UNCW and the Cape Fear Sierra Club to show their support for a Green New Deal, a four-part program aimed at addressing and offsetting the effects of global climate change. They dropped off a petition at Rouzer’s office asking for his support.
"I am a citizen participating with a citizens' group that's concerned about our environment," Peterson said. "The realities — however you want to classify it, climate change or water reality — is reality, and I think we need to approach the challenge in a non-partisan way.
"This is not a crossroads we're at. We're at a cliff. We have a short amount of time to understand the threat, not only to our government, our democracy, but our survival. I think now more than ever people need to come together (and) at least have a discussion about the challenges we face."
Lindsay Lake, the co-director of 350 Wilmington and communications director of 350 UNCW, applauded Peterson for his support of the Green New Deal, and is hopeful other North Carolina politicians will get on board with the proposal introduced Thursday by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-New York) and Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.).
Whether lawmakers decide to adopt policies outlined in the Green New Deal or not, Lake said climate change is real and will affect Democrats, Republicans and independents alike.
“I want people to start caring about climate change and realizing that it’s not about politics,” Lake said. “It’s about our future, and our children and our lives. If we don’t start taking actions now and coming together, conservatives, liberals — whatever you stand for — we’re all humans at the end of the day and we all need to care about this issue.”