Videos and text by TIM FAULKNER/ecoRI News staff

PROVIDENCE — The climate movement is enjoying a youth movement.

This youth infusion has been happening for several years, as students recognize the urgency to address climate change. Nationally, there is the Climate Kids lawsuit brought by 21 young people who accuses the federal government of failing to address climate change and thereby violating their constitutional rights. Rhode Island has its own youth lawsuit put forth by Nature’s Trust Rhode Island.

Upstart politicians such as Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez have attracted a new following, especially among students who have experienced the destruction of climate change.

In Rhode Island, a group of high-school and college students from the Sunrise Movement has been pressuring Gov. Gina Raimondo and the state’s congressional delegation to endorse the Green New Deal and pledge to stop accepting donations from fossil-fuel companies.

Now the students are seeking support from the General Assembly to adopt a Green New Deal for Rhode Island.

The Green New Deal in Congress is a set of goals to lift the social, environmental, and economic well-being of low-income and middle-class workers through nationwide initiatives, such as  building “smart” power grids and converting the nation to 100 percent renewable energy by 2030.

During a March 7 Statehouse rally, several students age 15-26, all members of the local Sunrise Movement, made heartfelt pleas for addressing climate change and enacting the Rhode Island Green New Deal resolution.


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