Columbia city council and school board candidates to talk climate change

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COLUMBIA -- City Council Ward 1 candidates and Columbia Public School board candidates will answer the public's questions on environmental issues. Questions will be centered around climate change and renewable energy. The forum is sponsored by local environmental organizations.

A student-led grassroots organization, Sunrise Movement CoMo, is co-sponsoring the forum.

One member of the group said public forums give organizations like Sunrise an opportunity to talk to people in power about the environment.

"We want to make our message about the importance of environmental issues heard," said Becca Newton. 

City Council candidate Greg Piersen said environmental issues need to be talked about in today's political climate.

"This is one of the most overarching threats to our planet," said Piersen. "We have to be taking these issues very seriously."

Piersen said he is most excited to talk about public transit and how Columbia can lower its greenhouse gas emissions. He said being an avid walker, he wants to make Columbia more accessible for those who also walk or ride bikes.

"I'm proud Columbia is taking time to address these issues because there is a lot we can do as a city to improve," said Piersen.