Keeping an eye on the future of climate change ,the Jersey City City Council unanimously adopted a resolution calling on pension boards to divest in the fossil fuel industry as well as a resolution supporting a local Girl Scout troop’s “girlcott” of Girl Scout cookies containing palm oil.
The resolution supporting Girl Scout Troop 12026 pushes for Girl Scouts of America to find an alternative to the palm oil in some of their cookies due to the unsustainable practices of harvesting palm oil.
According to the resolution, the extraction of palm oil and its use harms the environment and rainforests.
The extraction and harvest of palm oil contributes to deforestation and harms wildlife habitats. Studies link the palm oil industry to child labor and human trafficking.
“I’m calling in support of the resolution supporting the boycott- what we call girlcott- against the use of palm oil in Girl Scout cookies by our Troop 12026 and requesting that the Girl Scouts of America seek an alternative to palm oil in their products,” said troop leader Gina Verdibello.
She said in January, the troop was made aware of the palm oil controversy in cookies by Olivia Chaffin, a Girl Scout from Tennessee, and decided not to sell cookies.
“These brave girls in Troop 12026 decided it was best not to sell cookies this year because they didn’t feel it was right knowing that children their age are forced to work, and animals are left without food or homes,” she said.
Instead, the troop created an awareness campaign with the aim of making the Girl Scouts of America change the ingredients in their cookies or source 100 percent sustainable palm oil.
Emily Thompson, a cadet with Troop 12026, said unsustainable palm oil needed to banned from Girl Scout cookies because harvesting palm oil is harmful to the environment, “It has killed dozens of animals, especially in Malaysia and Indonesia,” young children are unable to go to school because they are being forced to work harvesting palm oil, and the children and parents harvesting the palm oils are getting little to no payment.
“This problem is contributing to climate change,” said sixth-grader Aja Chambers. “Instead of adding to the cause of climate change and making it worse, we could be giving these kids a chance to go to school.”
She said if they went to school they perhaps would be able to become scientists to help the cause.
The council unanimously adopted the resolution, sponsored by Ward B Councilwoman Mira Prinz-Arey.
Divesting in fossil fuels
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