Students march for climate change

Jose VegaContributor

Immediate climate action, implementing climate education, and increasing renewable energy sources across New Haven. These are all initiatives that the New Haven Climate Movement and others marched for.

The march included strangers passing by, fellow climate change oriented organizations and students from universities across New Haven, and members of the Geography, Environmental, and Marine Sciences Club.

“I’ve loved Planet Earth ever since I was a little child,” said GEMS Secretary Leana Mauricette. “But it’s more about community, the community that is united together over one purpose, and that purpose is to save the earth and to take global climate action.”

NHCM, the organizers of the march, is a grassroots organization which works towards mobilizing communities throughout the New Haven area in order to apply pressure on elected officials to take strong action on climate change and climate issues.

The march was also done in collaboration with Sunrise New Haven, the Yale Endowment Justice Coalition and CT Youth Climate Collective.

“We have already seen the impacts of climate change disproportionately affect New Haven’s most vulnerable residents,” said on the NHCM website. “Which is why we believe that New Haven must take immediate action to address this emergency and why we must prioritize equity and justice in our solutions.”

The goal of the march was that the New Haven mayor declare a state of climate emergency 120 days of passing the resolution, establishing a Climate Emergency Mobilization Task Force that would work to stop greenhouse gas emissions by or before Dec. 31, 2030.

The climate change march concluded in front of city hall with a Die Down; where a group of protesters sat on the stairs in front of city hall to simulate the effects that climate change will have on the global community.

“I think about my future every day,” said GEMS Treasurer Lauren Oken. “It honestly scares me just thinking about the sea level rise. I also think it’s extremely important for everyone to be aware of climate change and how it is going to affect everyone.”

Southern was the first university in the country to declare a climate emergency and begin protocols to help combat climate change at the local level.

According to a tweet from President Joe Bertolino, the university has reduced its carbon footprint for campus buildings by 57 percent since 2008, switched to 100 percent clean renewable electricity, diverted more than 100 tons of food scraps by composting and installed 6,000 photovoltaic solar panels.

According to the GEMS President Shayla Peterson, there is still more to be done in terms of informing university students of the possible threat climate change poses.

“Getting the information out there and not just leaving it as a website is also important,” said Peterson. “There are facets of climate justice and climate change that people don’t readily understand, like racial justice, food justice things along those lines are things that Southern can do a better job of disseminating to the public.”

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