Youth Climate Demands

Gina McCarthy

Joe Biden’s Leaders Summit on Climate is scheduled for April 22nd, when the United States government is likely to release a new climate pledge titled a “Nationally Determined Contribution.”

President Biden has invited 40 world leaders to participate in the summit to build international will for climate action. This updated climate pledge will shape federal targets, conversations, and policies for years to come. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change warns that average global warming is likely to reach 1.5°C between 2030 and 2052 if current warming trends continue. In other words, the global community has less than 12 years left to limit emissions. We must be as ambitious as possible to ensure we stop the trajectory of the climate crisis. Public officials and environmental groups are asking for a 50+% reduction of emissions by 2030, which is not ambitious enough\. In response, youth organizations across the United States have come together to create a Youth Climate Pledge. We deserve a future to look forward to, where all communities can thrive. Sign the petition to demand a pledge that is just and equitable to combat the climate crisis!

The US Youth Demand that the US

  • Reduce 75% of its emissions by 2030 and achieve net-zero emissions by 2040.

  • Implement climate solution projects that are consultative and equitable, and center highly impacted communities such as Black, Indigenous, People of Color; youth, women and girls; transgender and non-binary individuals; low-income people; and people that have disabilities.

  • Declare a national climate emergency and use the power of existing laws to expedite our transition away from fossil fuels.

  • Deploy financial resources to communities to enable a Just Transition. Economic justice is climate justice!

  • Protect the Black, Indigenous, Brown, Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) and working-class communities that are disproportionately harmed by the climate crisis.

  • Recognize and uplift Indigenous and local knowledge and use it to inform decision-making.

  • Intentionally create positions for young people, age 35 and younger, in decision-making processes and as consulted parties for climate planning and solutions proposals.

  • Enable the capacity for just and equitable climate action with the Paris Agreement’s Action for Climate Empowerment (ACE) agenda, which recognizes the importance of an informed and active society in decision-making. The US shall create an ACE strategy and appoint a Youth National Focal Point.

  • Mandate a rapid phase-out of fossil fuels that is equitable for all communities and avoids economic and financial instability. All future fossil fuel projects should not be approved.

  • Phase-down fossil fuel production and supply to avoid “locking-in” future use of those fuels.

  • Reinstate the ban on US crude oil exports worldwide.

  • Foster a sustainable Gulf region and stop environmental racism and environmental degradation.

  • Stop all new petrochemical project development on the Gulf Coast and throughout the country.

  • Provide resources (financial, technological) to developing countries so they are able to respond to the climate crisis.

To: Gina McCarthy
From: [Your Name]

We, the youth of the United States of America, need the US to reduce 75% of emissions by 2030 and achieve net-zero emissions by 2040 in response to this climate emergency. All future fossil fuel development should be stopped, and existing infrastructure should be transitioned as quickly as possible. We ask that the U.S. supports developing countries to help reduce their emissions with finance and technology. U.S. youth demand climate justice through the implementation of consultative and equitable climate solution projects that center the hardest impacted communities, such as Black, Indigenous, people of color, youth, women, transgender, and non-binary people. Finally, we demand that financial resources and capacity building are deployed to communities to ensure a Just Transition. We, the youth of the United States demand climate solutions and climate justice to ensure a safe and equitable future for ourselves, our country, and our home.