With the magnitude of the oncoming climate crisis, it’s no longer sufficient to have a single token environmental question that 2020 candidates get to brush off with a soundbite. We need the 2020 candidates and DNC to commit to an entire debate on environmental policies.
You may have heard of the Youth Climate Strike on NPR or in The New York Times. Our first strike on March 15, 2019 was part of a massive global day of action where young people in 120+ countries came together to demand action on climate change. As we approach the 2020 election, we recognize that time is running out to curb the worst effects of climate change, and therefore we believe it is the best time to ask the presidential candidates some tough but important questions about climate change and environmental policy. Furthermore, we will continue to strike to demand action from incumbent politicians and those that are running in 2019 and 2020, with our next countrywide strike on May 3, 2019.
Let’s ensure environmental issues—climate change, access to clean water, environmental racism, and everything in between—that disproportionately impact people of color and working-class folks are given the serious attention they deserve.
Let’s be sure we hear how candidates plan to hold companies accountable for polluting our water and air, and let’s ask them what they think about opening up federal land to fracking, drilling, and trophy hunting.
Let’s have an open mind as they discuss the ways we can shift to renewable energy while stressing equity and a just transition for frontline communities, specifically communities of color, low-income communities, and communities most reliant on fossil fuels.
The United Nations estimates that 62 million people worldwide were affected by extreme weather fueled by climate change.1 This is not ok.
Thank you for your support.
–Haven Coleman, Karla Stephan, Isra Hirsi, Feliquan Charlemagne, Maddy Fernands, Anya Sastry, Salomée Levy, and the rest of the US Youth Climate Strike team