A Day of Youth Action

On April 25, more than 100 youth from 32 different schools across Minnesota gathered at the State Capitol for the Youth Climate Justice Summit. To kick off the day, students met with Governor Dayton to share their vision for the future of Minnesota.

Munira Berhe (YEA! MN Policy Intern, Patrick Henry High School), shared a powerful story of how visiting her parents’ hometowns in Ethiopia and Somalia made clear how climate change directly impacts her family. Hafsa Islam (Minnesota Interfaith Power & Light, Southwest High School) described the experience of visiting her family in Bangladesh and feeling inspired upon returning to Minnesota from seeing community solar projects there. Anna Kasper and Katie Christensen (iMatter, St. Louis Park) are working with their City Council to reach carbon neutrality by 2040. YEA! MN Core member Carson Kowalski (School of Environmental Studies & Inver Hills Community College) presented the Governor with hundreds of postcards signed by youth, calling for a Minnesota free from fossil fuels by 2040, with justice every step of the way.

Read the full content of the postcard here.

Youth asked the Governor to respond to specific issues and secured commitments from Dayton to:

  • veto a bill that would allow Xcel Energy to shortcut the regulatory process to raise their rates;
  • veto bills that would criminalize free speech;
  • veto a bill that would prevent cities from passing laws that require businesses to reduce plastic packaging;
  • support the creation of a taskforce on missing & murdered indigenous women.

After the meeting, Governor Dayton reaffirmed his support for the Minnesota legislature to pass a 50 percent by 2030 Renewable Energy Standard in 2018. Additionally, the Governor told youth that he doesn’t see how the construction of Enbridge’s Line 3 tar sands pipeline along its existing route could be viable.

You can watch the video of our conversation with Governor Dayton here. (Facebook videos are muted by default, so be sure to turn on the audio below.)

Students from across Minnesota are meeting with Governor Mark Dayton to advocate for ambitious climate and clean energy action at our Youth Climate Justice Summit.

Posted by Youth Environmental Activists of MN on Wednesday, April 25, 2018

 

The Summit also provided students with an opportunity to gather by their congressional districts and meet with their legislators. Before their scheduled meetings, they practiced sharing why climate justice solutions are important to them and asking their lawmakers to lead on policy solutions. Students returned with high spirits from legislative meetings where their Senators and Representatives spent time listening to them and responding to their requests for climate action. Throughout the day, youth facilitated and participated in workshops about the Line 3 pipeline, zero waste with Eureka Recycling, environmental racism, and school board campaigns. Many participants registered and pledged to vote with the MN Youth Collective. MPCA Commissioner John Linc Stine also shared his insight on policy, the inner workings of the MPCA, and a life in public service.

Each year, this summit is a powerful expression of youth voices leading Minnesota to a just, resilient future. Those who are the most impacted by climate change are demanding action for climate solutions.