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December 18, 2017 Education, Human Services, National Issues, Press Release, Weather Safety Harrisburg, PA – With thousands of people fleeing the aftermath of natural disasters earlier this year in the southeastern U.S. and Puerto Rico, Governor Tom Wolf today announced the release of a new resource guide from the departments of Education, Health and Human Services to help school districts and communities welcome and assist those who have been displaced.“After hurricanes devastated portions of the southeastern U.S. and Puerto Rico, communities across Pennsylvania have been opening their arms to help those who have lost everything,” said Governor Wolf. “That spirit of compassion is part of the fabric of our commonwealth and this new resource guide gives schools and local organizations the information they need to help the evacuees to get back on their feet.”Nearly three months after Hurricane Maria struck Puerto Rico, electricity is still out in some areas and thousands of businesses are closed, forcing tens of thousands of people to leave the U.S. territory, including thousands of students sheltering in Pennsylvania.“Many of the people fleeing Puerto Rico and other devastated areas are children who have lost everything,” said Education Secretary Pedro A. Rivera. “Those children need and deserve a good education and schools across the state are up to the challenge. This guide provides a one-stop-shop of information about resources to help those school districts as well as the students and their families.”The Department of Education created the School Resource Guide for Disaster Evacuees in collaboration with the departments of Human Services and Health. The guide provides information for students from pre-kindergarten to postsecondary education on a wide range of topics from the Homeless Education Assistance and Pre-K Counts programs to nutrient, health care and the state university system.“This guide is a perfect example of the Wolf administration coming together to help individuals in need – a true testament to a government that works,” said DHS Secretary Teresa Miller. “As more displaced individuals enter the commonwealth, we must ensure that they have access to high-quality services and supports during this stressful transition.”“Pennsylvania stands ready to help families of evacuees,” Acting Health Secretary and Physician General Dr. Rachel Levine said, “Pennsylvania has resources through our Women, Infants and Children (WIC) programs, as well as through our State Health Centers to make sure evacuees stay healthy.”The School Resource Guide for Disaster Evacuees is available online and has distributed to local education agencies across the commonwealth. The guide is available in both English and Spanish, and includes pamphlets that may be distributed to students and their parents.A second toolkit, which will include information from additional state agencies and will support Pennsylvanians outside of the school system, is forthcoming. That toolkit will include information on enrolling children in school, finding disaster assistance, feeding programs, or health information, as well as other community and state supports. Governor Wolf Announces Resource Guide to Help Evacuees from Puerto Rico and Other Devastated Areas SHARE Email Facebook Twitter
And finally, a success because institutional investors the world over were able to lobby governments for change to regulation that will mobilise $1trn a year in low-carbon investment.Nevertheless, the conference was a case of preaching to the choir, with climate evangelists talking with other supporters, and those governments that wish to be seen as environmentally friendly dispatching their prime ministers or presidents to extol the virtue of being the greenest government ever.The 400 companies that have come out in favour of carbon pricing, part of UN secretary general Ban Ki-Moon’s Caring for Climate initiative, are more noteworthy. In an ideal world, governments would take bold action and introduce carbon pricing despite business resistance – as markets such as Australia and the European Union have.Emissions trading schemes (ETS) are not the sole solution for tackling growing greenhouse gas emissions, but they do provide an incentive to reduce output, as the levels of carbon produced before and immediately after the abolition of Australia’s ETS proved.It would also offer a financial disincentive to continued investment in high-carbon activities, as Anne-Marie Corboy, chief executive at the AUD28bn (€19bn) HESTA Super, told the conference – a view likely to be shared by Frank Pegan, chief executive of the AUD5.3bn Catholic Super, who said ahead of the event that the abolition of Australia’s ETS was a “backward” policy.Corboy, however, was also realistic during her address. “No single investor can change either system alone, but, by showing leadership and reinforcing others in the system, we can contribute to change and hasten the low-carbon future we all need.”The need for supportive capital was the UN’s motivation behind its 2010 Green Climate Fund. Four years later, the venture has so far only attracted $2.3bn to invest in emerging market climate projects – $1bn committed on Wednesday by France, a further $1bn previously offered by Germany. It shows that, despite government recognition of the risks of climate change, very little concrete action is forthcoming.The hope remains that, spurred by the private sector’s coordinated response, as foundations move to divest fossil fuel, pension investors reduce carbon and companies call for a carbon price, governments will be compelled to agree new, binding carbon-reduction targets at next year’s conference in Paris.At that point, the investor community’s work may pay off, as they remember that these reduction targets can be delivered with the help of investors worldwide, aided by a new regulatory framework boosting low-carbon investment to the targeted $1trn a year. Despite coordinated lobbying from investors and rousing rhetoric from governments, Jonathan Williams wonders whether the UN Climate Summit achieved anythingThe UN Climate Summit in New York – which attracted more than 120 heads of state and government, campaigners including actor Leonardo DiCaprio and Nelson Mandela’s widow Graça Machel – should be viewed as a success and failure in equal measure.A success because, in the run-up to the one-day event, its host city saw more than 300,000 protesters take to the street, demanding action on climate change. While this pales in comparison to the turnout for anti-war protests, it also highlights that climate change is no longer the sole concern of green NGOs.A success because AP4, Sweden’s SEK274bn (€30bn) buffer fund, will lead a pack of institutions in reducing the carbon footprint of $100bn (€78bn) in assets by next December – proving it an eminently sound and practical investment decision.