On the first day of the critical week of United Nations climate negotiations, young elected officials in Copenhagen and in the United States called on President Obama and Congress to secure a strong agreement that will grow clean energy jobs and address climate change.
Five young elected officials presented the statement (printed below) to the United States delegation in Copenhagen on Monday in advance of President Obama’s address all UN delegates on Friday, December 18.
“Our message to President Obama and Congress is simple,” said Andy Katz, Director of the East Bay Municipal Utility District in California, and the Chair of Sierra Club California. “Revitalize our economy with clean energy jobs. Young Americans have the most at stake – and the highest price – if we fail to solve the climate and clean energy crisis.”
The statement attracted support from over 95 young elected city council members, mayors, and state representatives from 30 states.
“While the rest of the economy is struggling, clean energy jobs are a real bright spot,” said Rep. Jeremy Kalin (North Branch, MN), chair of CLEAN, the Coalition of Legislators for Energy Action Now working with the White House and the United States Senate. “Action in Copenhagen and in Congress is critical to scale up the job opportunities.”
“Our dependence on oil is a serious threat to America’s national security, which is why both young people and veterans have called on making America more secure by taking control of our energy future,” said Rep. Alex Cornell du Houx (Brunswick, ME), an Iraq war veteran in Copenhagen with the Truman National Security Project.
“The world is looking to the United States to lead again on climate solutions,” said Representative Kate Knuth (New Brighton, MN), attending the conference as a policy mentor to a youth delegation from the Will Steger Foundation.
“America cannot afford to be on the sidelines of the new, clean energy economy,” said Deputy Town Supervsior Dominic Frongillo (Caroline, NY). “Congress and President Obama can help regain our competitiveness and ensure the most advanced wind turbines, solar panels, and electric cars say ‘Made in America.’”
The statement presented to the United States delegation reads as follows:
“We, young elected officials of the United States, believe freedom, independence, and self sufficiency are at the heart of America, and should be at the heart of our strategy for energy independence in the 21st Century.
As elected representatives with a personal stake in our future, we believe it’s time for a bold, new vision for America’s future. We call on Congress to start investing in new, safe energy technologies like wind and solar power that will rebuild our manufacturing base, create jobs, and grow our economy. We need to put millions of Americans back to work refitting our homes and buildings for energy efficiency with jobs that can’t be shipped overseas.
The United States can lead once again by forging a bold, binding, and just agreement in Copenhagen that will secure a safe and abundant world for future generations of Americans.”
Alex Du Houx, 26, is a Maine State Representative and an Iraq war veteran
Dominic Frongillo, 26, is a Councilmember in the Town of Caroline, New York
Jeremy Kalin, 34, is a Minnesota State Representative
Andy Katz, 29, is a Director of the East Bay Municipal Utility District in Oakland, California
Kate Knuth, 26, is a Minnesota State Representative
Crosspost from SustainUS