Youth and Climate Justice

Published on June 18th, 2019 | by GrowWNYAdmin

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Buffalo Youth Climate Strike 6/21/19

Since March 15, after 50 young people from throughout Western NY marched in front of City Hall in downtown Buffalo, WNY Environmental Alliance Youth & Climate Justice Fellow, Ilyas Khan, has continued to strike on Fridays in solidarity with Greta Thunberg, youth activist from Sweden, to demand our elected officials take swift, bold and immediate action to address climate change. On May 2nd, dozens of people, young and old, stood again with Khan to remind our local leaders that climate change is real and action is needed now. The International Youth Climate Strike has built incredible momentum in the United States and created a wave of action here in Buffalo. This Friday, June 21st, the last Buffalo Youth Climate Action Strike of the school year will take place in downtown Buffalo and planned to be the biggest action yet. Strike organizer, Ilyas Khan, describes the strike as a “youth led movement in coordination with similar groups around the world pushing for political and social action in regards to climate change,” and is encouraging climate advocates of all ages to attend.

Khan’s efforts to organize these rallies have been successful in not only raising awareness of climate change for the people of WNY, but he and other youth activists have met with several of Buffalo’s council members to start a conversation on real, tangible actions they can take in response to the climate crisis. Since he began striking, the City of Buffalo has announced that they are planning to register in the statewide program, Climate Smart Communities, which will provide the city with access to resources and funding for programs that focus on reducing our greenhouse gas emissions. Khan has been invited as a youth representative to sit on the City’s committee who is leading the charge for this exciting initiative.

Erie County has already developed a report outlining how we can meet the Paris Climate Agreement targets for reducing greenhouse gases which will be a vital resource as we begin to develop programs here in Buffalo. Please check out Erie County’s report which you can find by clicking here. Becoming a Climate Smart Community is a much needed step towards addressing the impacts of climate change here in our region as we make sustainable transitions in all sectors of our economy. However, our work has just begun.

It is vital we stay connected and informed on the issues that impact our region as we shift away from fossil fuel dependency and ensure an equitable transition for all communities here in WNY. Please come out and support climate action this Friday, June 21st at 2:00 pm in front of City Hall and stand with the young people who are demanding action NOW, for a better tomorrow. Check out Buffalo Climate Strike on Instagram for more details!

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