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Articles by Piper Christian and Michelle D. Hernandez

Piper Christian is a junior at the University of Utah. In 2018, she helped pass the first resolution in Utah history recognizing climate change. Michelle Diane Hernandez is the cofounder and co-facilitator of the Cities Working Group for the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change's Official Youth Constituency. Both are Public Voices Fellows of the OpEd Project and Yale Program on Climate Change Communication.

Featured Article

At a virtual fundraiser last July, then-presidential candidate Joe Biden said, “I want young climate activists, young people everywhere, to know: I see you. I hear you. I understand the urgency, and together we can get this done.” As young climate activists from Utah and New York, we not only want to be seen and heard, we want our demographic to help design and implement climate policy.

Young people’s leadership has elevated the climate crisis so effectively that it is now a priority in the White House. The Fridays for Future campaign, which included more than 2,500 organized protests in 150 countries, was the largest global climate crisis demonstration in history. The Sunrise Movement alone contacted 3.5 million young voters in swing states leading up to the 2020 election.

But we are capable of more than activism. Given the opportunity to collaborate with lawmakers and leaders, we can push meaningful climate policies. Michelle spearheaded a delegation to the 2019 World Mayors Summit, where young leaders competed to design climate plans, with the winning ideas presented to elected leaders. In Utah, Piper organized a student coalition that successfully advocated for... Read more