Commentary: As many parts of New Mexico continue to experience near-record or record-breaking temperatures, New Mexico Speaker of the House Brian Egolf today announced the first-ever New Mexico Climate Summit, to be held at the State Capitol on October 25-26, 2021.
The two-day event will gather nationwide experts and leaders from across the state to develop bold new policies that address the climate crisis and include a just energy transition for all of New Mexico’s diverse communities. The summit is presented by Speaker Egolf, in partnership with organizations including Somos Un Pueblo Unido, Rio Grande Chapter of the Sierra Club, Natural Resources Defense Council, OLÉ, Center for Civic Policy, Western Resource Advocates, Environmental Defense Fund, Conservation Voters New Mexico, NM Wild, Power4NewMexico, the Angelica Foundation, and the Energy Foundation.
Speakers will include Maite Arce of the Hispanic Access Foundation, Andrew Baumann of Global Strategy Group, Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham, professors from the University of New Mexico and Georgetown University, Native and Tribal leaders, Speaker Egolf, and more. In-depth breakout discussions will also take place around key issues including federal funding opportunities, ensuring an equitable transition, the future of New Mexico energy, economic diversification, air, land, and water conservation efforts, and next steps in our fight against the climate crisis.
“The New Mexico Climate Summit will bring together leading minds from across our state, as well as outside experts, to inspire urgency among our leaders and work toward the investments and policies necessary to mitigate the looming climate crisis facing our state,” said Speaker Egolf. “The effects of climate change are already all-too-present in the Land of Enchantment and getting worse by the day. For the future of New Mexico, we must take action and find real solutions that work for our state and create family-supporting jobs, while ensuring that our workers and disproportionately affected communities are included in the sustainable economy of our future.”
Black, indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC) in New Mexico have long lived and worked on the frontlines of energy industries, bearing the heaviest burden and impact wrought by climate change, yet they are the most likely to be left behind by climate and clean energy policies. Hardworking families living near harmful sources of air and water pollution often lack access to clean energy and transportation, while paying a disproportionate amount of their income on transportation and energy bills. Ensuring a just transition for these workers and families will be a key element of the Summit’s conversations.
“The reality of climate change has become increasingly apparent in New Mexico in recent years. Our rivers and acequias are regularly running low, we’re seeing hotter summers and milder winters, our forests are more prone to devastating wildfires, and our dwindling winter snow-pack fails to meet our growing demand,” Speaker Egolf added. “The time to act is now. We have an opportunity to work together as a state to address this issue in a way that mitigates its worst effects, addresses inequities, creates jobs, improves the health of our communities, and provides a future for our next generations, and that’s exactly what this Summit aims to do.”
The event will be conducted both in-person and virtually. Attendees must be fully vaccinated. Spanish translation will be provided. More information and registration is available at: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/new-mexico-2021-climate-summit-registration-170469695448