Full day at capitol includes Earth Day environment rally

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JEFFERSON CITY - Environmental groups from across Missouri will take part in an inaugural Earth Day Rally Wednesday at the Capitol.

They, along with advocates, will meet with lawmakers to encourage support for renewable energy, energy efficiency, and address climate change and carbon pollution. 

Carolyn Amparan, Chair of the Ozark Group of the Sierra Club, said climate change has already begun to affect the state. 

"Climate change is going to have a significant impact on Missouri. A lot of people don't feel like it's going to affect them personally, but it is. It is already affecting us. We've already had changes in our weather. We've had more severe storms. We've had the drought in 2012," Amparan said.

She also said there are some health benefits to clean energy, including people no longer having problems with asthma. 

"It's not just about climate change, it's about public health as well."  

The Earth Day Rally will not be the only event at the capitol building.

Privacy Rights of Missourians will be hosting an Equality Day, the Missouri Association for Community Action will have its own advocacy day, and the Department of Labor and Industrial Relations will have a National Workers Memorial Day. 

John Hickey, Sierra Club Missouri Chapter Director said there is no competition between groups looking to meet with legislators. 

"It'll be like a family reunion having so many good folks in the building," Hickey said. 

The event begins with legislative meetings at 10 a.m., followed by a rally at 2 p.m.