Youth organizations call on Biden to ensure ‘bold’ climate investments
Nearly 40 youth-led groups are calling on President Biden to ensure “bold” climate investments in a letter released Wednesday.
In the letter shared with The Hill, the 39 organizations praised Biden’s support for expanded electric charging and use, as well as his support for the creation of a climate jobs program called the Civilian Climate Corps.
“We and millions of other young people across the nation supported you in November and now we are demanding that you follow through on the climate mandate we elected you on and deliver the boldest economic recovery and infrastructure plan for our generation,” the letter said.
“Most important to us is making sure you and the Congress move swiftly to get the big and bold investments our climate and our communities need over the finish line this summer as a down payment on the long-term mobilization and investment we need to put the country on track toward a cleaner, more prosperous future,” they wrote.
They also said that Biden should “scale up” funding for the Civilian Climate Corps to at least $60 billion — Biden’s American Jobs Plan calls for $10 billion toward the program.
The letter was signed by groups including the Sunrise Movement, the Sierra Student Coalition and NextGen America.
It comes as the Senate hammers out details of two major infrastructure packages that are expected to provide funding for the policies laid out in the letter.
One of the bills is a bipartisan agreement, while the other is a budget reconciliation bill that is expected to focus on Democratic priorities including climate change, but will likely need support from all of the party’s members.
In recent days, moderate Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) said she won’t support a $3.5 trillion price tag and Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) on Sunday said that he “can’t really guarantee” that it will pass.
But Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) has said that Democrats are “on track” to put the legislation through the upper chamber.
“There are so many opportunities to really think about how we can center peoples’ needs and how we can live in harmony with our environments and build abundance and meet peoples’ actual needs through this bill,” said Dany Sigwalt, executive director of Power Shift, which is one of the signatories.
But, Sigwalt said, young organizers are also hoping to push the Biden administration on other issues as well.
“There is a moment of urgency that we’re looking at, especially since so many young folks are mobilizing around Line 3,” she said, referring to a pipeline being built in Minnesota. “It’s now or never in a lot of ways and we’re looking as young folks to the president to demonstrate that he actually cares about our future.”