Alaska’s own joins ranks to fi ght climate change

In an effort to curb greenhouse gas
emissions, leaders from all over the world,
including one from Alaska, gathered to
discuss different strategies.
Kate Troll, executive director of Alaska
Conservation Alliance, was invited to attend
the Global Climate Summit in California
last November., hosted by Gov. Arnold
Schwarzenegger. Attendees included
leaders from Australia, Brazil, China, and
the European Union.
The central theme for the summit was
to formulate long-lasting partnerships with
leaders and policy makers from around
the world to fi nd solutions to the ongoing
problem of global warming.
“I for one was able to network with many
people for renewable energy,” Troll said in a
telephone interview.
Troll, a long-time Juneau resident, said
she felt inspired from the event and that
it was a message that people have been
waiting for.
“I view climate change as a series
of social and economical opportunities
disguised as an environmental challenge,”
Troll wrote in a press release.
ACA is a nonprofi t, statewide umbrella
group. It gives leverage to approximately
40 organizations with one strong voice
in the state capital. According to ACA’s
mission statement, a sound economy and a
strong environment pave the way for a more
sustainable future.
There is a tremendous amount of
renewable resources in the state to reduce
greenhouse gas emissions, such as wind
and tidal energy, Troll said, who also sits on
the board of the Renwable Energy Alaska
Project.
According to REAP, geothermal energy
(heat from the sun) is prevalent in western
states including Alaska and Hawaii. Tidal
energy relies on harvesting tidal currents.
“With our wealth of renewable energy
and world class supplies of natural gas, we
need to position Alaska as being pivotal
to securing a clean energy future,” Troll
said.
It is hard to foreshadow the public’s
initiation to this urgency. However, Troll
said she remains optimistic, and that
with hard work, Alaska will see a cut of
greenhouse gases in the following years.
Sue Ely, the legislation and
communication manager at ACA, said
state funding from legislation has helped
immensely with renewable resource
projects. She said that $250 million
dollars will be used to explore alternative
resources such as geothermal, along with
wind and tidal. Another $300 million will
go to energy effi ciency.
According the Global Climate Summit
overview, the U.S. Federal Government is
inactive when it comes to policies that will
help reduce foreseeable problems that will
arise from greenhouse gas emissions.
More than half of the states, however,
are already taking concrete steps toward
reduction of said pollutants. This is
inclusive of comprehensive climate action
plans that align them with the level of
effort expected of industrialized nations
under the Kyoto Protocol, an agreement
linked to the U.N. framework for climate
control.
Progress to eliminate greenhouse gases
have already been made by countries such
as China, India, and Brazil along with
other emerging economies. Governments
from all over the world have worked
hard to become more energy effi cient to
reduce greenhouse gases. The leverage of
these polices will only be acknowledged,
however, by an agreement that will help all
regions of the world.
Ely said she believes the collaboration
and networking at the conference will
prove benefi cial to Alaska. She said that
through partnership, we can work together
to stop greenhouse gas emissions.
“We see this as an opportunity for
renewable resources in Alaska,” Ely
said. “It’s pivotal to collaborate to reduce
greenhouse gas emission.”