Youth Climate Action Demands

Youth Demands:

 

Demand 1: That legislators, corporate leaders, and all people in positions of power commit to taking the necessary action to mitigate and adapt to climate change on the time scale that science and justice require.

Legislative goal: Implement LD 99 (Divestment)

 

Demand 2: That legislators in this state publicly recognize that climate change is an issue that is currently happening and exacerbating existing inequalities, both globally and locally.

Legislative goal: Pass LD 489 (Pine Tree Amendment) - check out this toolkit to help pass LD 489!

 

Demand 3: That legislators listen to and lift up marginalized and youth voices in the decision-making process, especially where the future is concerned.

Legislative goal: Pass LD 906 and LD 1626 (Tribal Sovereignty)

 

Demand 4: Comprehensive climate education in schools. 

Legislative goal: Pass LD 1902 (Climate Education)

 

Demand 5: A green new deal that prioritizes climate, social, racial, and economic justice, includes enforcement mechanisms, and paves the way to a sustainable society.

Legislative goal: Implement recommendations of MCC Equity Subcommittee

 

Demand 6: A just transition to 100% renewable energy by 2030

Legislative goal: Pass LD 1634 (Maine Generation Authority)

More Details on the Progress of Youth Demands

At the April 2019 Youth Day of Action in Augusta, Maine Youth for Climate Justice made several climate justice demands. In 2022, we’re keeping track of the climate justice progress that has been made since then.

 

Demand 1:

That legislators, corporate leaders, and all people in positions of power commit to taking the necessary action to mitigate and adapt to climate change on the time scale that science and justice require.

 

Progress: In 2021, MYCJ Core members Anna Siegel and Cassie Cain led youth advocacy for Maine’s state government to divest from fossil fuels. They built coalitions, instigated grassroots advocacy, and networked with the press and media. This resulted in an intergenerational collaboration between Sierra Club Maine, 350 Maine, youth climate activists, key stakeholders, and Representative Maggie O’Neill (D - Saco).

MYCJ’s youth representatives testified that fossil fuels were a risky investment and that funds should instead be reinvested in climate solutions for our state. They succeeded, resulting in the passage of LD 99: “An Act To Require The State To Divest Itself Of Assets In The Fossil Fuel Industry”.

What we're asking for now: In 2022, this same coalition has grown and is now working with MainePERS to implement LD 99. We demand full implementation of LD 99 by 2026, including yearly accountability reports.

LD 1959, the bill Mills put forward does not meet our goals. Instead, we must continue fighting for a consumer-owned utility.

 

Demand 2:

That legislators in this state publicly recognize that climate change is an issue that is currently happening and exacerbating existing inequalities, both globally and locally.

 

Progress: The towns of Bar Harbor, Brunswick, Portland, Saco, South Portland, Yarmouth, and Wiscasset have declared climate emergencies.

What we’re supporting in 2022: This year, MYCJ is supporting LD 489, “Resolution, Proposing an Amendment to the Constitution of Maine To Establish a Right to a Healthy Environment”, which is also known as the Pine Tree Amendment. We are also planning to work on additional climate emergency declarations in other Maine towns. We will also work towards securing funding for climate action plans that have already passed.

 

Demand 3:

That legislators listen to and lift up marginalized and youth voices in the decision-making process, especially where the future is concerned.

 

Progress: We won a seat for youth representatives on the Maine Climate Council as a direct result of the 2019 Day of Action, including on each working group and the Equity Subcommittee.

In 2021, MYCJ members testified in support of LD 2, highlighting how the climate crisis disproportionately affects marginalized communities and emphasizing the importance of uplifting voices that have been historically excluded from climate change discussions. Youth testimony succeeded, and “An Act To Require the Inclusion of Racial Impact Statements in the Legislative Process” became law.

MYCJ members also wrote in support of LD 361 and LD 453, testifying that the Wabanaki community has too long been denied opportunities for meaningful participation in decision-making bodies or altogether excluded from the conversation. This testimony helped pass legislation to add a Wabanaki Tribal member to the Inland Fisheries and Wildlife Advisory Council and to the University of Maine Board of Trustees.

What we’re supporting in 2022: This year, MYCJ is prioritizing LD 1626, “An Act Implementing Recommendations of the Task Force on Changes to the Maine Indian Claims Settlement Implementing Act”. The legislation would place the tribes in Maine on similar and equal footing to the other 570 federally recognized tribes in 49 other states, restoring the inherent right of the Passamaquoddy Tribe, the Penobscot Nation, and the Houlton Band of Maliseet Indians to self-govern within their respective territories.

What we're asking for now: There is still work to be done when it comes to listening to marginalized and youth voices. Governor Janet Mills vetoed the proposal to close the Long Creek juvenile detention center in 2021. Jerry Reid, Commissioner of the Maine Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), testified against LD 1626 in 2021 and again this year.

 

We demand the passage of LD 906 and LD 1626 this session.

 

Demand 4:

Comprehensive climate education in schools. 

 

Progress: In collaboration with Maine Climate Action Network (MCAN), we have created a Climate Justice Crash Course, ready for rollout in 2022. MEEA Climate Education Summit in 2021. 

Room for improvement: We demand the passage of LD 1902.

 

Demand 5:

A green new deal that prioritizes climate, social, racial, and economic justice, includes enforcement mechanisms, and paves the way to a sustainable society.

 

Progress: The state passed LD 1282, “An Act To Establish a Green New Deal for Maine” on June 17, 2019.

What we're asking for now: We are in full support of the MCC Equity Subcommittee’s February 2022 recommendations. Additionally, the IPCC’s February 2022 report shows more data to support an aggressive timeline towards 100% renewable energy and decarbonization.

 

Demand 6:

A just transition to 100% renewable energy by 2030

 

Progress: Maine Climate Action Plan sets 

  1. Achieve an electricity grid where 80% of Maine’s usage comes from renewable generation by 2030.

  2. Launch an Industrial Task Force to collaboratively partner with industry and stakeholders to consider innovations and incentives to manage industrial emissions through 2030 and reduce total emissions by 2050.

What we're asking for now: 2050 is too late and not in line with what science has called for. LD 1634 is a great demand to link to this (also connected to Consumer-Owned Utility)