On July 12, environmentalist group Zero Hour will be kicking off their first Youth Climate Summit in Miami, Florida. The three-day summit will feature an impressive lineup of climate justice activists, including Greta Thunberg, 16-year-old founder of the worldwide School Strikes for Climate.
Thunberg has been concerned about climate change for most of her childhood, but in August 2018 she decided to make a public statement. For the three weeks leading up to the Swedish general election, she sat outside the Swedish Parliament instead of going to school. Her mission: to hold the Swedish government accountable for their promise during the 2016 UN Paris Agreement to reduce carbon emissions.
When the Swedish general elections concluded, Thunberg prevailed, continuing her strike on Fridays. The world took note, especially students across the globe. By December 2018, over 20,000 students held their own strikes in 270 different cities.
Thunberg’s impact on the youth climate justice movement is clear, but her commitment to the environment is so strong she won’t be attending the summit in person — Thunberg refuses to fly. In a recent statement, she remarked, “I had very much looked forward to this, but it turned out to be impossible [for me to attend in person since I don’t fly]… of course, I will be able to attend by link.”
Jamie Margolin, co-founder of Zero Hour, commented in a press release, “It means so much that Greta will be participating in this summit. She first reached out to Zero Hour when she’d just started her strike, and since then we’ve been plotting and working together behind the scenes on powerful youth climate actions, this Miami summit being one of them.”
“There’s a mutual admiration and respect between Greta, the climate strike movement, and us at Zero Hour,” Margolin added. “We’ve been inspiring and uplifting each other — and we’re not stopping anytime soon.”
Thunberg is one of many historic speakers joining the Youth Climate Summit. She’s joined by other climate justice activists from the frontlines of environmental destruction, including “Little Miss Flint” Mari Copeny from Flint, Michigan, Water Protectors from the #NoDakotaAccessPipeline Standing Rock movement, and local activists fighting the rising sea level in Miami.
This Is Zero Hour: The Youth Climate Summit will also feature members of the UN’s Climate Action Team, and an assortment of scientists, advocates, organizers, founders and authors.
To learn more about Zero Hour, visit their website.
Greta Thunberg to Speak at Youth Climate Summit — Source
Kimberly Gutzler, outreach director of Young Voices for Our Planet