Arizona Youth Climate Strike
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE September 10, 2019
Aditi Narayanan| 602-320-9086 | email@example.com
Claire Nelson | 480-630-1467 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Arizona Youth to Unite to Demand Climate Justice
Students advocate for climate action in Phoenix and state-wide.
Phoenix, Arizona: On September 20th, youth from across the state will join the Global Youth Climate Strike. These strikes are centered by a leading Phoenix Climate Strike, supplemented by others happening in cities and towns all over the state including Tucson, Prescott, Payson, and Flagstaff. The students and their adult allies plan to gather at their respective city halls to demand that politicians take action to fight the climate crisis on all levels of government.
For many of the students, the United Nation’s 2018 IPCC report was a turning point in their understanding of climate change. As a result, they formed the Phoenix chapter of the national organization Zero H0ur and later the Arizona Youth Climate Strike. They became passionate about the importance of ending the use of fossil fuels, using science to direct our environmental policies, and a fair and just transition to renewable energy and a green economy. The Arizona Youth Climate Strike has previously held other strikes, press conferences, town halls, cleanups, and lobby days. AZYCS is hosting the strikes in Phoenix and Tucson alongside the other strikes hosted by other environmental organizations and concerned individuals all across Arizona.
The students have three main demands. The first is that the state and every city, especially Phoenix, declares a climate emergency. This is especially important for Phoenix due to its status as one of the largest cities in the country, meaning it should be a leader in the national conversation on city-based climate action. The second is that the state and every city adopts a progressive climate action plan. These plans must include a rapid decarbonization of Arizona’s energy and economy and a halt on all new fossil fuel infrastructure in the state. The third is that the state and every city adopts a climate resilience and adaptation plan to protect all residents from the effects of climate change. Low-income and communities of color will be most impacted by the climate crisis and must be prioritized in these plans. These demands are not only feasible but they are necessary in order to protect Arizona residents and their futures.
Students, and their adult allies including workers, educators, scientists, political candidates, and elected officials will all be present at the strike. This strike will be focused on uplifting the voices of youth and those on the frontlines of the climate crisis, especially low-income communities and communities of color. This is why no elected officials or candidates will be speaking at the main strike in Phoenix.
The environment must be every policy maker’s number one priority, especially in the next few years. Environmental justice must be a lense through which every issue is viewed. Our time is running out and the time for action is now.
“The time for ignoring scientific data is over,” said Aditi Narayanan, one of the Arizona co-leads. “I love my home. It is sacred, and we take it for granted. It is the responsibility of every single citizen of this state to protect it.”
“Elected officials have seen environmental legislation as disposable for far too long,” adds Brian Mecinas, the team’s advocacy director. “On September 20th, we’re letting them know that our lives and futures aren’t disposable and will never be.”
Claire Nelson along with Akhila Bandlora, Sonia Fernandez, Nikita Bharati, Anna Melis, Amritha Karthikeyan and Pri Karlapudi have been organizing the logistics of the Phoenix strike. Meanwhile. Daniel Casanova and Kyle Kline are organizing the strike in Tucson. “Young people are on the forefront of climate justice because we are affected by the climate crisis the most– this is our future.” Claire Nelson, the other Arizona co-lead, remarks. She then adds “We are going to make change. We don’t have any other choice.”
To find out more about the national movement and demands, visit strikewithus.org. More information about the Arizona strikes can be found on the Strike with Us map and at @climatestrikeaz on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.
The Phoenix and Tucson Climate Strikes are sponsored by Arizona Youth Climate Strike, a youth-led organization that seeks to empower young voices in the struggle for climate justice.