Three young climate activists, including U.S. Youth Climate Strike co-founder Alexandria Villaseñor, will address the Democratic National Convention on Wednesday night, testifying to how Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden will give their generation a “fighting chance” in the battle against climate change.
Villaseñor, an ally of famed Swedish teen climate activist Greta Thunberg, will speak from the arboretum on the campus of the University of California, Davis as part of the convention’s segment on the importance of battling climate change.
“Climate change is impacting us now, and it’s robbing my generation of our future,” Villaseñor will say in a pretaped speech. “For young people my age, every aspect of our lives — from where we go to school, to what kind of careers will have, to whether or not we can have a family — depends on us taking action now.”
“Joe Biden won’t solve this crisis in four years,” Villaseñor continues. “No one can. But he will put us back on track so our generation can have a fighting chance.”
Two other young organizers will speak after Villaseñor: Andrew Adamski, the owner of a farm in Pulaski, Wisconsin, who has been vocal about the impact of climate change on agriculture; and Katherine Lorenzo, an Afro-Latina climate activist who worked as senior organizer with Chispa, a Latino-focused advocacy group affiliated with the League of Conservation Voters.
Progressives have criticized the first two nights of the convention for focusing too heavily on the Democratic Party’s past and giving significant time to figures like former President Bill Clinton and former Secretary of State John Kerry rather than focusing on the party’s more diverse and more progressive future.
The Biden campaign has repeatedly leaned on its plan to tackle climate change, which aims to transition the nation’s electricity grid off gas and coal by 2035 and employ millions of Americans on sustainable energy projects, to bridge the gap with younger left-wing voters who remain somewhat skeptical of the former vice president.
The climate change-focused segment will open with remarks from Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham of New Mexico, a vice presidential contender who has pushed for more solar industry jobs in her home state, before a member of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers narrates a video on Biden’s commitment to battling climate change.
The video will feature comments from Joel Clement, a scientist with the Department of the Interior who resigned in 2017, arguing the Trump administration was undermining laws intended to combat climate change.