A group of more than 100 students brought climate change issues to the forefront at the 2019 DC area Youth Climate Summit.
Members of the Youth Climate Summit aim to raise awareness about the importance of protecting the environment, one student says we have just 11 years left to tackle the climate crisis.
“We are the first generation that is going to really, really feel the impact of climate change, and we are the last generation that has this chance to do anything about it,” said Sophia Geiger, MCPS student/ Youth Climate Summit member.
The summit brought together local organizations and students from all over the DMV area.
“Giving youth the tools to take control of their future by training them and briefing them, and getting them to understand climate change and what they can do about it,” said Anna Brookes, Youth Climate Summit organizer.
“Climate change is the intersectional issue. It is the one issue that affects every single person on the planet. It doesn’t matter what gender you are, what race you are, how old you are, how much money you have,” said Leo Blain, Youth Climate Summit organizer.
Some of the sessions focused on reducing plastic in oceans, dealing with an increasing number of natural disasters and how marginalized groups are more at-risk.
“There’s a lot of big name brand companies that are producing stuff that is not good for the environment…like Styrofoam, oil, gasoline,” said Markail Lemore, Maryland Multicultural Youth Centers.
“The idea is that you should target the future that you actually want. A lot of our climate action, so far, has been on reducing emissions,” said Erica Dodds, Executive Director, Healthy Climate Alliance.
Student organizers say if changes aren’t made, the world might be headed towards a climate disaster. They encourage others to make it a lifestyle, and get involved in the movement.
“Without significant change in our environmental strategies, we will not have a future,” said Geiger.
The Youth Climate Summit chapter in Montgomery County will also host other summits across the US, including in Ohio, Georgia and Wisconsin.