AUGUSTA – Young Maine environmental activists rallied outside of the Maine State House on Tuesday as part of Youth Day of Action, and climate change was on their agenda.
“What do we want?” a rally activist said.
“Climate justice,” the crowd of students responded.
“When do we want it?”
“Now,” the crowd answered.
The students and young adults came from all over Maine to send a message.
“That we pay attention to what is happening to our climate,” said Joshua Brobst, an Auburn sophomore.
The young people gathered outside of the state capital on the day a hearing was held for “An Act to Establish a Green New Deal for Maine.” That’s a local version of the national Green New Deal under consideration on Capitol Hill in Washington D.C.
“It’s just not something you can’t do because like this is really going to affect us,” said Theo Dierks-Brown, a North Yarmouth student. “It’s going to affect me because some of this stuff is going to be really bad when I’m like 80 if I don’t do anything. If we don’t do anything.”
“I think we just really want to speak out and show that this really is an issue,” Brobst added. “And that some people just aren’t paying attention to what is going on.”
Both the state and national plans have goals of reducing greenhouse emissions while adding more renewable energy and helping workers transition into the green energy workforce.
The Maine version would create a task force to create Green New Deal laws specific to the state. That task force would have until January to report back to lawmakers with proposed legislation.
“We cannot grow infinitely when we live on a planet with finite resources,” Cody Pajic, a Unity College sophomore studying environmental policy, told rally attendees.
“This isn’t a problem we can tackle on our own,” Pajic added later. “We need to work together.”
Olivia Newsom, an Otisfield student, stood holding a sign that read, “Climate Action Now.”
She said she was at the rally, “Because I want to change the world.”
“If everyone works together I think we can do it,” Dierks-Brown said.