Thursday, 20 April 2017

Speaker BJ Cruz introduces bills to combat climate change

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Speaker BJ Cruz has introduced two pieces of legislation to try to prepare for the impacts of climate change.

Guam - This week’s introduction of Bills 79 and 80 is a step closer to combating climate change on Guam.

Bill 79 would establish a Council on Climate Change Preparedness and Resiliency, or C3PR. A recent release from Speaker BJ Cruz’s office says the introduction of the measures follow President Donald Trump’s recent executive order reversing decades of environmental protections. The bill would also support Gov. Eddie Calvo’s Climate Change Task Force, that was established by executive order in 2015.

In an interview with PNC, Speaker Cruz said "Climate change is real. I’ve been saying on Guam that we’ve had climate change refugees for years, coming up from Chuuk whenever they flooded their taro patches... (Bill) 79 is a policy board which is supposed to be complementary to the governor’s executive order on climate change. He appointed a commission in 2015, and this is just to complement that group that he put together in 2015... We are very dependent on Guam, on what happens with climate change. So, we have to start addressing policies that have to prepare for the future."

Cruz’s Bill 80 would designate the University of Guam to lead an Island Sustainability Outreach and Action program, to educate the island’s villagers on how to play their part in sustaining a healthy ecosystem. "In 2015, when the Department of Interior issued a report on climate change, it recommended that we do some outreach programs. And it really is imperative. And though, as I said, we can’t address the emissions of coal in China, we can, as villagers, determine exactly how the runoff goes into the ocean... We saw what happened in Tumon Bay when the storm water went into the bay, and how that bleached and killed the coral," Cruz stated. "It’s an outreach program. I’ve been working with the university and trying to make sure that we can take of this because it really is imperative that we, as a community, prepare for it. We cannot afford to stick our hands in Mar-a-lago and pretend that nothing’s happening."

You can read Speaker Cruz's press release and both Bills 79 and 80 by clicking on the attachment below.

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