On Sunday afternoon, more than 170 student delegates from 43 schools (as well as several Vermont homeschoolers!) united at the State House in Montpelier for the first-ever Vermont Youth Climate Congress, where they passed the most moving climate declaration Vermont has ever seen. They were joined by a number of Vermont’s elected leaders, including members of the Climate Solutions Caucus and Lieutenant Governor David Zuckerman.
The students shared their fear that the window to act decisively on the climate crisis is closing. They shared their frustration that Vermont is not doing enough to take bold action on climate. They shared their hope that they can push our leaders to pass transformative climate legislation in 2020. And they demanded that Vermont become the climate champion that it should be, now.
The Vermont Youth Climate Congress was an inspiring gathering of a dynamic, diverse group of Vermont students who all share a deep sense of urgency to act on the climate crisis.
“The work we are doing today will set an example for Governor Scott and the Legislature of what comprehensive climate legislation can and should look like,” said Vermont Youth Climate Congress co-chair Lili Platt.
“Today we showed Vermont that the youth have a strong voice, and we are ready to do whatever it takes to fight for our future,” added Vermont Youth Climate Congress co-chair Evelyn Seidner.
On Sunday, young Vermonters showed that they can cut through the noise and act decisively in times of crisis. They’ve modeled for our lawmakers what climate courage can look like. Once again, young voices are the loudest in calling for the bold climate action that the world needs. It’s time that we listen to them.
Here at VPIRG, we’re committed to supporting these young leaders every step of the way, so that their calls for action both in and out of the State House have as large an impact as possible.