We need bold climate action that creates clean jobs, supports renewable energy, invests in environmental justice, and promotes climate resilience.
Young people have built the foundation of the climate movement with the knowledge that we are the first generation to feel the effects of climate change, and will be the last to be able to mitigate it.
With fewer resources and capital, greater instability, and weaker networks, young people are more vulnerable to the impacts of climate than older adults. Black, brown, and Indigenous youth experience the worst effects of the crisis – in the United States, people of color are 2.4 times as likely to be exposed to heavy pollution than whites among different income levels.
According to the most recent IPCC report, we are quickly running out of time to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius. We need comprehensive, bold climate action immediately to safeguard our generation's future.
Tell Congress to support the Energy Security and Independence Act!
Where We Stand
AYA supports legislation that:
- Incentivizes the development of clean energy and ends reliance on fossil fuels.
- Invests in climate resilience measures including wildfire defense, ecosystem protection, coastal restoration, flood resilience, and soil management.
- Combats environmental racism and systemic injustices and invests in Black, Brown, and Indigenous communities disproportionately impacted by the climate crisis.
- Empowers and enables disadvantaged communities to better prepare for, respond to, and mitigate the effects of climate change.
- Creates high-quality, union jobs specifically for young people across climate and environmental sectors.
- Preserves and protects public lands and natural resources.
Legislation AYA Supports
Civilian Climate Corps for Jobs and Justice Act (H.R.2670/S.1244)
Introduced by Rep. Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY-14) and Sen. Markey (D-MA), this bill would establish a Civilian Climate Corps (CCC) program, administered by the Corporation for National and Community Service within AmeriCorps. Over 5 years, a diverse and equitable group of 1.5 million Americans will complete federally-funded projects that help communities respond to climate change and transition to a clean economy. Many of the created jobs would be specifically targeted at young people.
The Environmental Justice Act (H.R.2431/S.2630)
Introduced by Sen. Booker (D-NJ) and Rep. Ruiz (D-CA-36) would right environmental wrongs that disproportionately harm communities of color, low-income and indigenous communities by requiring federal agencies to mitigate environmental injustices through agency action and by strengthening the legal protections of those affected by environmental injustices.
Climate Justice Grants Act (H.R.2442)
Introduced by Rep. Barragan (D-CA-44) would build on the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Environmental Justice Grants program by funding community climate mitigation and adaptation projects. The climate crisis disproportionately impacts low-income and communities of color, which are hit first and worst by natural disasters and the health impacts that come from living with polluted air, land, and water. This bill addresses that inequity by authorizing a new Climate Justice Grants program at the EPA to support those hardest hit by climate change and environmental pollution.
CLEAN Future Act (H.R.1512)
House Energy and Commerce Committee Chair Pallone (D-NJ-6), Environment and Climate Change Subcommittee Chair Tonko (D-NY-20) and Energy Subcommittee Chair Rush (D-IL-1) introduced the Climate Leadership and Environmental Action for our Nation’s (CLEAN) Future Act, which would aim to “achieve net-zero greenhouse gas pollution no later than 2050, with an interim target of reducing pollution by 50% from 2005 levels no later than 2030.” The legislation would decarbonize each sector of the U.S. economy.
Energy Security and Independence Act (H.R.7439/S.4013)
Introduced by Rep. Bush (D-MO-01), Sen. Sanders (I-VT), and Rep. Crow (D-CO-06), the Energy Security and Independence Act would invoke the Defense Production Act (DPA) to ramp up renewable energy production and speed up the transition to zero-emission energy. If enacted, the legislation would help the US achieve energy independence and security by reducing our dependence on fossil fuels.
Climate Resilience Workforce Act (H.R.6492)
Introduced by Rep.Jayapal (D-WA-07), this bill would make bold investments in climate resilience action plans that center frontline communities, create an Office of Climate Resilience within the White House, start new workforce development programs, and remove barriers to employment based on immigration status or past incarceration in climate resilience sectors. The Climate Resilience Workforce Act would help build the skilled, equitable, and necessary workforce that America needs to achieve climate resilience while creating millions of good-paying, union jobs and centering the communities who are disproportionately affected by the worsening climate crisis – the kind of jobs young Americans need.
Transform, Heal, and Renew by Investing in a Vibrant Economy Act (THRIVE) Act (H.R.2919/S.1525)
Introduced by Rep. Dingell (D-MI-12) and Sen. Markey (D- MA), the bill would authorize investments of at least $1 trillion per year for FY 2022-2031 to: upgrade our infrastructure for clean water, affordable public transit, and a reliable electric grid (creating five million jobs); expand access to wind and solar power, electric vehicles, and healthy buildings (creating four million jobs); protect our rural and urban spaces, wetlands, prairies, forests and support family farmers who are embracing regenerative agriculture (creating four million jobs); and invest in public institutions and care for children and the elderly.