At a virtual fundraiser last July, then-presidential candidate Joe Biden said, “I want young climate activists, young people everywhere, to know: I see you. I hear you. I understand the urgency, and together we can get this done.” As young climate activists, we not only want to be seen and heard, we want our demographic to help design and implement climate policy.
Young people’s leadership has elevated the climate crisis so effectively that it is now a priority in the White House. The Fridays for Future campaign, which included more than 2,500 organized protests in 150 countries, was the largest global climate crisis demonstration in history. The Sunrise Movement alone contacted 3.5 million young voters in swing states leading up to the 2020 election.
But we are capable of more than activism. Given the opportunity to collaborate with lawmakers and leaders, we can push meaningful climate policies. But unless young people have a personal connection to someone in government who will champion them, they often are left out of the policymaking process. That’s why states and cities must create youth climate advisory positions and climate councils with the power to make policy recommendations, oppose environmentally harmful measures, and hold officials accountable to follow through on climate-action plans.
Read the full article about youth involvement in climate policymaking by Piper Christian and Michelle D. Hernandez at Grist.
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