Updated: Mar 22, 2020
On a cold day in February, the Maine Climate Council met for the second time as part of their work to hammer out a new statewide Climate Action Plan. Just down the hall, more than 100 Maine youth gathered to call on the state’s leaders to take bold climate action. Host Carly Peruccio spoke with some of those youth about their hopes for the future. Listen and get inspired!
On January 29th a delegation from Earth in Brackets joined a group of organizations at the Maine Climate Council meeting. Youth from all over the states and several organizations had the opportunity to come together and join forces to elevate concerns about the Climate Justice movement in Maine. Listen to the podcast piece to hear Ania Wright (youth rep of the Climate Council) and Helen Poertner speak about the climate movement in the state.
The following entry was written by Helen:
Two weeks ago, the Maine Climate Council had their second meeting since their founding.
At the same time, the Maine Climate Council Youth Day was taking place for young voices from all over the state to make a statement of urgency, get familiar with the structure of the Climate Council and connect among ourselves.
The day started off with all participants of the Council with presentations about general updates on how Maine was doing reaching its goal of having zero carbon emissions in 2050. The tone was positive and speakers were congratulating the state for performing well. The 2050 goal is however not sufficient for the amount of responsibility the state of Maine has to take.
Next, our own Ania Wright, youth representative to the Climate Council, held a very moving and captivating speech. She spoke about her experience at the recent COP in Madrid and the disappointment that resulted from it. Referring to other youth leaders she met, she made it clear to the audience that although the effects of climate change are not as strong in Maine yet, they are in other parts of the world. This is more than enough of a reason to change our behavior here and right now. After Ania received standing-ovations for her speech, all youth in the room were asked to raise their hands: We are many!!
Then we moved on to our main event of the day, the Maine Youth Voices Press Conference. Felipe opened with a speech on his experience in Chile, emphasizing the importance of a just transition. In order to battle climate change we need to have the international perspective at all times and cannot forget how our actions affect other places on our planet, especially in the Global South. After this impressive opening speech, youth from all over Maine read the Maine Youth for Climate Justice’s demands to the Climate Justice. We demand for the Council to ensure zero carbon-emissions by 2030 (instead of 2050), create a just transition, include members of marginalized and frontline communities in Maine into the discussion and make it concretely certain that corporate interests cannot be prioritized over climate justice. More detail to these demands can be found here. Young people from elementary-school age up until past college graduation were present and spoke to these demands with passion, their own stories and determination.
In the later part of the day we had the opportunity to connect to Council Members and further express the urgency of our demands. Lastly, we, as youth representatives from our schools and colleges, were able to connect more actively and get a sense of what other groups are planning and making progress in. This exchange was very productive and left us all inspired to continue fighting for our cause and keep connecting to those with whom we are in this together!
Together with all the youth in Maine, the United States and worldwide, we will continue our engagement for a determined and just transition, will pressure our representatives to take action and keep fighting for a liveable future!
Photo Courtesy of 350 Maine. Source: https://www.facebook.com/pg/350.Maine/photos/?tab=album&album_id=3441001559307066