A coalition of Vermont middle school, high school (including students from Harwood Union and Crossett Brook) and college students – along with members of the Climate Solutions Caucus serving as mentors – are uniting at the State House on November 17. Their goal: to draft, refine and pass a declaration of freedom from fossil fuels and a resolution urging policymakers to protect the future by taking immediate action to address the climate crisis.
Despite Vermont’s green reputation, the activists argue that the state is nowhere near meeting its climate goals. Since 1990, Vermont’s carbon emissions have risen by 16 percent. In light of the results of the United Nations’ most recent climate change report, the students believe that now is the time to show policymakers in Vermont and nationwide that the climate crisis requires immediate legislative action.
“Young people are the least responsible for the climate crisis, but we are the ones who will inherit the dire consequences of climate inaction,” said Lili Platt, Harwood Union High School senior.
The Vermont Youth Climate Congress invites all students statewide to join their peers in standing up for bold climate action at the State House from 12:30 to 4:30 p.m. on November 17.
The grassroots outreach campaign is in contact with over 30 schools with the goal of seeing four to eight student representatives from each student body. Organizers hope to see 150 to 200 students ranging in age from middle school to college with an emphasis on young people from underrepresented and frontline communities.
“From Greta Thunberg to the Sunrise Movement to the Vermont Youth Lobby, students are leading the call for climate action around the globe,” said Senator Chris Pearson, co-chair of the Vermont Legislature’s Climate Solutions Caucus. “We’re excited to see young Vermonters pushing the governor and the Legislature to do more.”
The event takes place Sunday, November 17, from 12:30 to 4:30 p.m. at the Vermont State House in Montpelier.