Rhode Island Chapter

Explore, enjoy, and protect the planet.


Climate change is here. The ocean is claiming homes. Barrier beaches are failing. Severe storms are damaging Rhode Island's towns and cities. Help the Club combat climate disruptions by getting involved in a campaign. 



Supporting Renewable Energy

A rapid transition to renewable energy is key to avoiding going over the 2° C temperature rise that even conservative estimates agree is the acceptable limit. The Rhode Island Sierra Club is working to get legislation passed that would provide a variety of smart tax credits to people who pursue renewable energy projects. On a larger scale, the Club is supporting the responsible development of offshore wind farms to help reduce our state's dependence of fossil fuels. 

Moving Beyond Fossil Fuels


Sierra Club is always 100% committed to a renewable energy future. But, what does that mean?

A few ways we can reinvest our efforts in a cleaner energy economy are:

Closing Brayton Point - There are only a handful of coal plants left in the Northeast and one is right over the Rhode Island border in Somerset, MA. The Brayton Point Coal Plant, the biggest single source of carbon pollution in New England, proudly claims to have spent over one billion dollars cleaning up the plant, but the truth is that those efforts have failed to make it safe. In fact Brayton Point is responsible for 15-39 premature deaths annually. Rhode Islanders need to join with activists in Massachusetts to shut down the plant.



Divesting from Fossil Fuels - Schools and municipalities are choosing to sell their investments in the most profitable industry on earth. The City of Providence has already committed to divest, while students at Brown and RISD are demanding divestment at their colleges. We need to help spread the movement to include the state government, and all of the institutes of higher learning in RI. We are home to URI, RIC, CCRI, PC, Roger Williams University and Salve Regina University as well as many large corporations whose investment choices affect us all.




Developing Offshore Wind & Large Scale Solar - There are better options for energy! We can choose to push lawmakers to avail RI residents of the same tax incentives for renewable energy projects that are available in other states, like MA. We can write to our legislators and demand more investment in offshore wind and solar projects. We are the consumers and if enough of us express our wants, our consumer choices really do change the marketplace and drive it towards cleaner energy.


Simply Demanding Change - Petitions, activism alerts, climate marches, film screenings, rallies, talking to your friends about their energy habits and choices: all of it matters! Simply making choices in your daily life and joining with Sierra Club activist alerts and groups sends the message to your community and your legislators that we want change. The RI Chapter is constantly putting forth an effort to demand change from our lawmakers, businesses and citizens through community action.


Adapting to Coastal Erosion

Rhode Island is the Ocean State, so we have a lot at stake when it comes to the sea level rise associated with global warming. We've witnessed 10 inches of rise since the 1940s, and we can expect 4-6 feet more by the end of the century whether or not we reduce global carbon emissions. The Club is helping Rhode Islanders adapt and prepare for what is in store.

Advancing Good Governance

Unless our elections are free of corporate money, independent and third party candidates are given a fair oportunity to run for office, and Rhode Islanders become more civically engaged, our government will not function effectively. The Rhode Island Sierra Club is working to advance good governance policies that will get our republic in working order. 




Ensuring a Sustainable RIPTA

The Rhode Island Public Transit Authority is funded by the gas tax. As people drive less because of high gas prices and switch over to more fuel efficient cars, RIPTA's funding decreases at precisely the same time that there is greater demand and its fuel costs increase. It's a completely backwards funding model. The Rhode Island Sierra Club is looking to fix the problem.

Demanding Complete Streets

Pedestrians, bikers, and transit riders need to be considered every time state and town planners consider new projects. Multimodal communities provide transportation, health, safety, and qualitiy of life benefits that automobile-centric communities do not. The Rhode Island Sierra Club is dedicated to ensuring Rhode Island's streets are accessible to more than just cars. 


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