What We Do
We, the youth of New York State, will experience the full effects of the climate crisis, understanding that it is our future at stake. Similarly, we know that the climate crisis already disproportionately impacts frontline communities in our state, especially people of color, Indigenous peoples, and the elderly. It is therefore our responsibility to step up and speak out in the face of continued governmental inaction on this crisis.
As the New York Youth Climate Leaders, we mobilize our fellow youth from across the state to combat the existential threat of climate change. Members and their organizations plug into an inclusive statewide network of impassioned youth activists, and are supplied with resources, collaboration, and community to facilitate the growth of their activism.
NY²CL advocates for a comprehensive policy platform centered in environmental justice that attempts to address all facets of climate change, from opposing the expansion of fossil fuels, to ensuring that every New Yorker has the basic human right to clean air and water. But the climate crisis doesn’t end with environmental destruction, it also exacerbates all other issues facing our state including systemic racism, economic injustice, and rampant societal inequality. Therefore, we approach our advocacy from a multitude of different angles, ranging from lobbying our elected officials to protesting outside their offices.
Central to our existence is the idea that all voices have the power to induce positive change, no matter their age or background. Throughout New York, there is a vast array of individuals and organizations, all fighting the same fight. Our mission is to unite the state as one movement, strengthening our climate family and growing together to form a united front in the face of the climate crisis.
Climate Can't Wait Rally
On January 25, 2022 we joined our partners in the Climate Can't Wait Coalition for the campaign kickoff rallies!
Invest In Our Future: Youth Lobby Day
On January 24, 2022 we held a virtual youth lobby day to advocate for the Teachers Divestment Act, the Fossil Fuel Subsidy Elimination Act, and the Build Public Renewables Act.
BPRA Road Trip
In December of 2021, with our partners in Sunrise Westchester, we visited some of our state legislators in Westchester and Rochester to tell them to pass the Build Public Renewables Act!
NYC Youth Climate Strike
On September 24, 2021 we co-sponsored a youth climate strike in New York City to demand intersectional climate justice, and organized a string quartet performance at the strike!
During the fall of 2021 we launched our youth lobby fellowship program - an opportunity for high school and college students across the state to learn more about the New York State government. The program included presentations about topics from writing LTEs/op-eds, passing resolutions, and our budget and policy priorities, leading up to leading lobby meetings with legislators to advocate for equitable and comprehensive climate action.
NY²CL Lobby Fellowship
Fossil Free Education, Fossil Free Future Rally
On August 6, 2021 we held a rally in Albany advocating for the divestment of the New York State Teachers’ Retirement System from fossil fuels, which included an art exhibit and music performance!
Fight For Our Future: Vivaldi's Winter
In April of 2021 we released a virtual orchestra music video of Vivaldi's Winter. It's time to take action against the climate crisis and protect our planet, for our generation and generations to come.
Healing the Present, Protecting the Future: Lobby Day
During Earth Week of 2021 we held our Healing the Present, Protecting the Future virtual youth lobby day where youth from across New York met with state legislators to discuss comprehensive climate legislation.
Earth Day 2021
For Earth Day 2021 we held a virtual climate strike and in-person distributed chalking actions around New York State to advocate for the divestment of the NYS Teachers' Retirement System and the passage of comprehensive environmental legislation!
Indigenous Rights x Environmental Justice on Long Island
In April of 2021 we collaborated with the Brookhaven Landfill Action and Remediation Group to publish an interview with Shinnecock tribal attorney Tela Troge, yogi Monique Fitzgerald, and community advocate Hannah Thomas, discussing indigenous rights and environmental justice on Long Island, specifically concerning the Brookhaven Landfill.
During February of 2021 we built snowmen all across New York State to demand that our elected officials tax the rich and eliminate fossil fuel subsidies from our state's budget! (View our press release on the action here.)
Fight For Our Future: Lobby Day
On January 11, 2021 we had our Fight For Our Future virtual youth lobby where we held 90+ meetings with state legislators in support of taxing the rich and ending fossil fuel subsidies.
New York State Common Retirement Fund Divestment
In December of 2020 the New York State Common Retirement Fund, NY's $226 billion pension fund, announced that it will become the largest pension fund in the world to divest from the riskiest oil and gas companies and decarbonize by 2040.
After eight years of campaigning and organizing, we won! This is a testament to the grassroots movement that the #DivestNY Coalition has built over the years, and we are so proud to be a part of this historic moment.
Fossil Fuel Subsidies Press Conference
In October, we held a virtual press conference releasing our letter signed by 180 organizations, calling on Andrew Cuomo and the NYS Assembly to end fossil fuel subsidies and pass A.257C. You can check out our press release, sign on letter, and watch a recording of the press conference here!