March for Climate Justice in St. Louis set today

Community leaders from across St. Louis will gather today — Sunday — for a march calling for climate justice, an end to pollution from outdated power plants and a transition to clean, renewable energy.

The March for Climate Justice in St. Louis will take place at 1 p.m. at Kiener Plaza, 600 Market St.

Missouri is heavily dependent on coal-fired power plants, which are the largest carbon polluters in the state, according to a news release. Pollution from these power plants makes air in communities from Kansas City through St. Louis dangerous to breathe, particularly for asthmatics, children and the elderly, the release stated.

Pollution from power plants disproportionately impact low income communities and communities of color, according to the NAACP’s Coal Blooded report.

A local grassroots movement to move the region beyond coal to clean energy has already secured the phase out of one of Ameren Missouri’s oldest, dirtiest coal plants — the Meramec coal plant in south county. As Gov. Jay Nixon convenes Missouri convenes communities statewide to build an energy plan, residents want to ensure that the governor addresses the threat of climate change by building a clean energy economy, the release stated.

The march in St. Louis is being conducted in solidarity with the People’s Climate March taking place today in New York City while the United Nations meets to talk about global commitments on climate change.

Participants will include Bret Gustafson, associate professor of anthropology at Washington University; Rabbi Randy Fleisher, Central Reform Congregation and former chairman of the Jewish Environmental Initiative; Mike Hornitschek, Straight Up Solar; Sister Barbara Jennings, sister of St. Joseph Carondelet and director of the Midwest Coalition for Responsible Investment; Sam Cummings, Executive Committee of the Missouri Sierra Club; and Larry Lazar, climate reality leader.