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
CLEAN Future Act
House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ), Environment and Climate Change Subcommittee Chairman Paul Tonko (D-NY) and Energy Subcommittee Chairman Bobby L. Rush (D-IL) 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.
National Climate Adaptation and Resilience Strategy Act (NCARS)
Senators Chris Coons (D-DE) and Lisa Murkowski (R-AL) and U.S. Representatives Scott Peters (D-CA) and María Salazar (R-FL) introduced this bill in 2022. The legislation would require the development of a national climate adaptation and resilience strategy and create a Chief Resilience Officer in the White House to streamline the federal response to climate-related dangers.
Civilian Climate Corps Act
In 2021, Senator Markey (D-MA) and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY14) introduced this legislation to establish a Civilian Climate Corps program to employ a diverse and equitable group of 1.5 million Americans over 5 years in federally-funded projects that help communities respond to climate change and transition to a clean economy.
Environmental Justice Act
The Environmental Justice Act would require federal agencies to mitigate environmental injustices through agency action and would strengthen the legal protections of those affected by environmental injustices. It was reintroduced by Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) in 2021.
Climate Justice Grants Act
This legislation, introduced by Nanette Diaz Barragán (D-CA), would empower communities most impacted by climate change to better respond to and prepare for the crisis by creating and authorizing a 10-year Climate Justice Grants program at EPA to provide $1 billion/year in grants for projects and initiatives proposed by environmental justice communities.
Introduced in 2021, the Transform, Heal, and Renew by Investing in a Vibrant Economy Act (THRIVE) Act is an economic recovery legislation that would authorize at least $1 trillion/year until 2031, to provide sustainable union jobs for more than 15 million workers. The jobs, which range in industry from clean energy to care work to manufacturing, would help to cut carbon pollution by 2030, while advancing gender, environmental, economic, and racial justice.
Energy Security and Independence Act
Introduced in 2022 by Congresswoman Cori Bush (MO-01), Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT), and Congressman Jason Crow (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. The bill comes in response to the global energy crisis following Russia's invasion of Ukraine. If enacted, the legislation would help the US achieve energy independence and security by reducing our dependence on fossil fuels.