Maine Youth for Climate Justice has created a set of demands and suggestions targeted towards the Maine Climate Council. We will be making our demands known at a press conference that coincides with the next Maine Climate Council meeting. Please read our demands and suggestions below, and sign this petition to indicate your support of them. This is a great way to make your voice heard and support youth work in this movement!
The following are demands and suggestions made and agreed-upon by youth and youth allies of Maine. We are Mainers from all over the state, representing various classes, races, ages, and backgrounds. As a coalition of young people, we recognize that youth are the ones who will be inheriting an unlivable climate and suffering the consequences of inaction. We believe that our state and its Climate Council have the potential to uphold the following goals and values that will help youth fight for their futures:
We demand that achieving zero-emissions by the year 2030 be the ultimate and official goal for the state and the Maine Climate Council. We understand that this is a major transition for the state of Maine and all of its businesses and residents, but we know that it is entirely possible and should be the first and foremost priority of the Maine Climate Council. It is imperative that we aim for the 2030 timeline, as it is what scientists across the world have concluded will give our planet the greatest chance of survival, for the people, for justice, and for our environment and everything within it.
We demand that the inevitable changes and transitions towards all environmental and climate related goals be done with a just framework. We demand that all changes in infrastructure, policy, and any other changes that will affect Maine’s residents be done in an equitable manner, with all stakeholders involved in all steps of the process. This must be done to ensure that people of different backgrounds, economic classes, and geographical locations are able to continue bettering their quality of life while minimizing environmental impacts.
We demand that there be an increase in the representation and leadership opportunities for marginalized and frontline communities on the Maine Climate Council and that all stakeholders are involved in its discussions and decision making processes. Marginalized and frontline communities in Maine, include but are not limited to those identifying as indigenous, black, a person of color, an immigrant, working class, impoverished, homeless, rural, differently-abled, etc. We believe it is imperative that all of these communities be openly invited to participate in any decision-making done by the Maine Climate Council.
We demand that it be made concretely certain that corporate interests are not prioritized over climate justice on the Maine Climate Council. We remind you that it is necessary to acknowledge that multiple corporations have ties to members on the Maine Climate Council and that any members of the council must leave these priorities at the door. It would be blissful ignorance for these corporate members to not acknowledge that they have influences which may not favor certain aspects of climate justice and progress. It is the responsibility of all members to check and balance each other's potential biases.
We suggest that the Maine Climate Council be more transparent and public with its information. We believe the Maine Climate Council should reflect on its transparency in the past and aim to do better in the future. We believe the public should be regularly updated on the workings of the council. We believe public outreach platforms should be clearly advertised in order for Maine residents and businesses to be aware of and access Maine Climate Council resources. We believe there should be more young people on the various working groups and that the working groups should be more interconnected in order for discussions and progress to be more effective.
We suggest that all youth members of the Maine Climate Council be given stipends. Many of these council members are too young or too busy with school to have jobs, and many have a hard time paying for the gas to regularly drive to Augusta. We believe the youth members should receive stipends for more than just paying for their travel expenses, but to acknowledge the sacrifice that they are making by missing school to attend meetings. We believe that the youth members should be seen as valuable and professional and should be paid for the service they are doing to their statewide community. This suggestion should go beyond just youth members and apply to any council member who may need extra assistance, physically or financially, participating in the Maine Climate Council meetings and accessing this opportunity.
Maine Youth for Climate Justice