Vermont Environmental Organizations Support Youth-Led Global Climate Strikes

This Friday, across the planet and across Vermont, young people will be taking a stand, calling for long-overdue action to combat the growing climate crisis. As organizations who have long pushed for the State of Vermont to do its part on global warming, we honor, support and celebrate the courageous voices of youth who are saying “no more.”

“Young people and future generations will bear an unconscionable and incalculable cost from our collective inaction on climate. The stakes are dangerously high, and young people understand that better than anyone,” said Johanna Miller, energy and climate program director at the Vermont Natural Resources Council. “On Friday, we look forward to following their lead, standing with them, and echoing their call for bold action to, equitably, mitigate the impacts of a dangerously warming world.”

“Scientists have clearly laid out the crisis we’re facing. Companies the world over have developed the solutions necessary to eliminate our climate pollution. And now the world’s youth are delivering an unambiguous call to action,” said Ben Edgerly Walsh, climate and energy program director for VPIRG. “To the leaders of our state and our world the question is clear – are you with the generation demanding they have a livable future, or are you with the fossil fuel industry?”

“We all want a bright future for our children, where everyone regardless of where they live, what they look like, or how much money they have, has access to clean, renewable energy solutions. Just as young people played a critical role in advancing the civil rights movement, today they are saying “enough!” to inaction on the climate crisis. Let’s stand together with our children, and demand our elected officials enact strong policies that ensure we meet our climate commitments to current and future generations of Vermonters,” added Lauren Hierl, executive director of Vermont Conservation Voters.

“We must treat the climate crisis with the urgency it demands,” said Jen Duggan, Director of CLF Vermont. “The millions of young people with the most to lose that are walking out on Friday are making it clear that the time for debate is over. We must confront this emergency head-on by taking action. We can start by joining neighboring states and putting in place strong laws like the Global Warming Solutions Act that will hold us accountable for meeting the carbon pollution reductions we agreed to years ago.”

“While we in the environmental community advocate for solutions, the youth of today are rightfully out on the streets demanding that our elected officials take action. In their minds, what’s the point of obtaining an education if humanity is left with an uninhabitable planet and numerous species are faced with extinction,” said Robb Kidd, Vermont Sierra Club Conservation Program Manager.

This youth-led effort is likely to result in the world’s largest global demonstration to date. Organizers expect that millions of youth and people of all ages will strike in every corner of the world on Friday in solidarity of tackling this global challenge. New York City just proactively excused it’s 1.1 million students from school on Friday to participate in the strike. Businesses globally and locally are taking part. In Vermont, Seventh Generation, Burton and Ben & Jerry’s will lead a march to the big noon Climate Strike rally at City Hall in Burlington. And workers at some of the world’s largest companies – including Amazon, Google and Microsoft – are organizing walkouts. It’s the kind of broad movement that, we hope, will finally catalyze the kind of response needed – one that is commensurate to the scale of the challenge we face.

Please honor and support this inspiring youth-led strike with us and, importantly, support the ensuing bold action elected officials, businesses, communities and we all must take to stem the worst effects of climate change. Find out more about this global effort at globalclimatestrike.net; find out about youth-led Vermont efforts at vermontclimatestrike.org; or strike in solidarity however you can, wherever you are this Friday, and share it on social media.

Also, please join us as we work with youth, climate justice, public health, business and other essential partners to ensure meaningful progress in Vermont in 2020. Learn more about what some of those initiatives might be and stay tuned to how you can help Vermont move beyond rhetorical support for action to the enactment of policies that will bend the curve on our dramatically rising emissions. Follow #ActOnClimateVT or sign up for our newsletters at our web sites, below:

Vermont Public Interest Research Group – www.vpirg.org

Vermont Natural Resources Council – www.vnrc.org

Vermont Conservation Voters – www.vermontconservationvoters.org

Conservation Law Foundation – www.clf.org

Sierra Club – Vermont Chapter – www.vermont.sierraclub.org