What We Do

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Our Climate empowers young leaders to advocate for equitable and science-based climate policy. Since 2014, we have trained and mobilized hundreds of young people across the country to advance state-level policies that sharply reduce emissions and ensure a just transition to clean energy. Our leaders contribute to state campaigns by creatively organizing their communities, sharing their stories with wide-reaching media outlets, and connecting with decision-makers.

Since our national campaign launched in 2016, Our Climate has empowered hundreds of students through our leadership development programs, contributed to state climate policy campaigns, and built support for holding polluters accountable.

We have engaged young leaders in ongoing state efforts to pass comprehensive policies. In the past year alone we:

  • Contributed to the passage of the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act in New York, which sets the country’s most ambitious and economy-wide greenhouse gas emission reduction standard. Our Climate engaged over 750 students from 28 campuses across the state in efforts to support the policy through legislative advocacy, media engagement, and campus organizing.
  • Organized 403 outreach events, workshops, and trainings to educate students about grassroots advocacy, legislative engagement, and climate solutions.
  • Facilitated 1,570 student-led conversations with lawmakers through creative actions, letter writing, and face-to-face meetings. In the spring of 2019, our team organized a distributed Youth Lobby Day that brought 280 students to state capitols in five states; the events were covered by ThinkProgress, PBS, and state and local media outlets.
  • Published 76 media pieces and blog posts to share youth stories and amplify the need for immediate climate action.

Our team has greatly built the capacity of our youth engagement and leadership development programs to provide meaningful opportunities for rising student leaders across the country. We have:

  • Recruited and trained more than 300 student leaders through our Fellowship and Field Representative programs and mobilized hundreds more to support state-level policies that will hold polluters accountable.
  • Offered 80 trainings on climate policy and advocacy, including youth summits and lobby days, in seven states. In 2019, we held a series of Youth Climate Policy Camps. Collectively, the camps brought 75 students together for 3-4 days of training on how to advocate for climate action; discussions about the intersection of racial, economic, and climate justice; and brainstorming around next steps to build a youth-led movement for climate policy in their states.
  • Held educational webinars for our students covering a range of topics, featuring speakers from Green Latinos, Climate Nexus, Organizing for Action, Friends Committee on National Legislation, The YEARS Project, and others.

Our Climate’s leaders have elevated the conversation about concrete climate policies around the country and have:

  • Secured 50 college and university president endorsements in support of putting a price on greenhouse gas pollution.
  • Reached more than 7 million people online through videos, digital actions, and student stories.
  • Received and generated media coverage from local and national outlets, including The Hill, USA Today, and Grist.
  • Won two international awards: the MIT Climate CoLab Judges’ Choice Award and the Keeling Curve Prize.

Our team has developed relationships with strategic partners to build a strong coalition for comprehensive climate policies led by young people. We have:

  • Cultivated partnerships with 15 national environmental and social justice organizations, including the Environmental Defense Fund, Powershift Network, and the Roosevelt Institute. We are a movement partner within the U.S. Climate Strike network and many of our young leaders regularly lead or participate in local climate strikes.
  • Joined and actively contributed to state-based coalitions including the WA Alliance for Jobs & Clean Energy, Renew Oregon, MA Campaign for a Clean Energy Future, and NY Renews. We have also developed partnerships with local and statewide organizations in Florida and Nebraska.
  • Grown our Advisory Council to include an economist for Columbia University’s Center on Global Energy Policy, a Sightline Institute senior climate policy researcher, the Director of State Affairs at California ISO, climate justice leaders, and others.
  • Partnered with Clif Bar and the California Governor’s Office of Planning and Research to launch a national youth climate solutions contest to engage young people in the Global Climate Action Summit.