Demanding "bold climate action now," young people from across Washington state are rallying in Olympia on Monday—another manifestation of youth being powerful voices for legislative action.
The event, the Youth Lead the Way Climate Lobby Day, is co-sponsored by advocacy group Our Children's Trust and the children's initiative Plant for the Planet. The day of action is also part of "Climate Countdown"—a 60-day campaign launched last month to coincide with the full legislative session and aimed at putting pressure on state lawmakers. Monday is day 43 of the campaign.
The youth and their supporters are set to start off the morning at 9:30 local time outside the Washington state legislature, where they'll demand legislation that matches the severity of the climate crisis. They say that should include making a committment to 100 percent renewables, allowing no new fossil fuel infrastructure, and reforesting the state within ten years.
"There is no point in passing weak legislation just for the sake of saying you've 'done something.' The crisis is too severe for that. We need bold legislation that actually puts us on the track to 350ppm and climate recovery," said 16 year-old Jamie Margolin, a member of Plant for the Planet, in a press statement.
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The morning will also feature speakers including plaintiffs from the Our Children’s Trust climate suit filed last week, youth leaders from Plant for the Planet, and members of Protectors of the Salish Sea. The morning is also set to include a march to the governor's mansion to deliver a symbolic gift—an old-growth redwood tree seedling. According to the Facebook event page, which is being promoted by 350.org Seattle, the afternoon will also include some of the youth leaders meeting with legislators.
For those who won't be able to attend the event in person, organizers are encouraging them to still take part Monday by helping to "amplify the voices of youth climate leaders by contacting your legislators on Feb. 19 and expressing your support for bold climate action! "
"Our future is only as protected as we ourselves make it," said 14 year-old Athena Fain. "If the adults are not going to do it, we'll have to do it ourselves. There isn't time anymore to wait around."