AUGUSTA – The Maine Climate Council met in Augusta Wednesday, and so did middle and high schoolers, calling on the council that launched in September to protect their future.
Young Mainers were trying to get their voices heard at Youth Voices Day in Augusta and called on the Maine Climate Council to take action on what students are calling a climate emergency.
“Our voices are just as important and just as strong because it’s our future,” said Sofie Dowling, a senior at Mount Desert Island High School.
Some of the speakers and young activists in attendance Wednesday go to MDI High School, including one high school senior who grew up on Great Cranberry Island.
“So many people rely on the land or the water to survive and I’ve been so blessed to grow up in such a wonderful, beautiful place,” said Dowling.
The Maine Youth for Climate Justice has demands for state lawmakers, including getting Maine to zero carbon emissions by 2030, and for the Maine Climate Council to increase its representation from marginalized communities.
Sirohi Kumar, a sophomore at MDI High School, said marginalized communities have, “been hurt more by climate change than others … it’s important that we have representation so that all the aspects of climate change can be addressed by people who see all the different aspects.”
Clean energy is an issue some high schoolers have already taken head on. In September they became the first Maine high school to go solar.
Students said their efforts encouraged Bar Harbor to form a task force to address the town’s emissions.
So what’s next?
“Hopefully getting an island-wide task force which will make things a whole lot easier,” said Thomas Korstanje, an MDI senior.