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ME - Scientists, Advocates Say 2021 a Pivotal Year for Climate Action in Maine

After a year in which much of the state was in moderate to severe drought and experts warned that unchecked emissions in Maine could lead to warming of 10 degrees by 2100, advocates and scientists said making progress in the fight against climate change will be crucial in 2021.

Ania Wright, the youth representative on the Maine Climate Council — which produced a report in early December outlining the state’s four-year climate action plan — said it’s clear the seriousness of global warming demands that people from all different backgrounds work together to find solutions.

“Everybody’s needed in the fight against the climate crisis,” Wright said. “We need policy experts, we need people out on the streets, we need artists, we need researchers — we need everyone.”

Wright said when it comes to public policy in 2021, she hopes the legislature takes action to implement initiatives in the Maine Climate Council’s plan, which centers around decreasing greenhouse gas emissions 45 percent by 2030, 80 percent by 2050 and making Maine carbon-neutral by 2045.

Wright added that funding the policies included in the plan will be crucial, pointing to the idea of a state Green Bank — which would help raise money to fight climate change — as one potential mechanism.

On the grassroots side, Wright said she’s focused on working to broaden the diversity of voices included in the climate movement. Wright, who is also part of a consortium of climate groups called Maine Youth for Climate Justice, said that members of that group have been discussing the importance of getting more educational resources about climate change into schools.

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