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PUSH Buffalo leader on Earth mission to Paris

Maxine Murphy had never been overseas.

But on Friday, the board chairwoman of PUSH Buffalo has gone to Paris on a mission.

“We have a moral and spiritual obligation to take care of the Earth,” Murphy said Thursday.

Murphy will be the voice of low-income communities from Buffalo at the United Nations Conference on Climate Change, which began Monday and runs until next Friday in Paris.

Murphy’s bags were packed Thursday in anticipation of her flight to France, where she is joining a special delegation of others from the organizations National Peoples Action, the Climate Justice Alliance and Grassroots Global Justice.

In Paris, they will advocate for disadvantaged and minority communities to make sure they have access to things such as solar energy, new jobs in the green sector and protection from inclement weather, and understand the importance of their environment.

“What we’re going to be talking about is, ‘What can we do – the grass-roots people – to affect change?’ ” Murphy said. “I am going to come back and tell the neighborhood that’s affected by it.

The conference has attracted delegates from 195 countries, including many national leaders, and they’re coming up with ways to arrest global warming caused by releases of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. President Obama addressed more than 100 world leaders there Monday.

PUSH members bade Murphy bon voyage from its buildings on Massachusetts Avenue.

“I can’t think of anyone better to represent Buffalo and our neighborhood at this pivotal time for our planet,” said Aaron Bartley, executive director of PUSH Buffalo. “Maxine has demonstrated a unique passion and steadfast dedication to issues of racial, economic and environmental justice.”