Jeff Masters Weather Blog

High schoolers helped develop Tuscon’s climate action plan » Yale Climate Connections

In the past few years, young people have made headlines with their fight against climate change.

The Arizona Youth Climate Coalition was created in 2019 during a global wave of school strikes.

The group still organizes protests, but members also work with local leaders to enact climate policies.

Emilia Kim is a high school student in Tucson and the group’s policy director.

Kim: “I’ve talked with a couple of different legislators at the state level. … On the local level, we do a lot of things like lobbying school boards.”

The coalition recently helped the city of Tucson develop its new climate action and adaptation plan, and Kim says members are now pushing the city to achieve those goals.

Kim: “The biggest thing for us is actually getting people to implement the actions that they’re saying they’re going to implement.”

Many of the group’s members are still too young to vote.

But Kim says they can talk to the voting-age adults in their lives about climate change — and that their youth only makes getting involved in climate policy more important.

Kim: “At the end of the day, we’re the people who are going to be dealing with climate change most head-on, and so I think our voice is definitely important, and it’s important that we encourage the youth to share their voices and to become engaged.”

Reporting credit: Ethan Freedman/ ChavoBart Digital Media

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