Who are we?
We are 15 youth climate justice leaders converging from across the United States from varied geographies, cultures, and identities. As a collection of activists, students, organizers, scientists, writers, artists, and listeners we seek revolutionary change towards climate justice. Working horizontally with one another and honoring leadership from elders, frontline communities, and grassroots movements, we will use creative storytelling, direct action, and policy advocacy to mobilize for climate justice through and beyond COP23.
Last year at COP22 in Marrakech, SustainUS launched the People’s To Do List – a list of demands that we fight for alongside global movements for justice, no matter who claims to represent us back in Washington. Now, at COP23 we join the global community as a member of the People’s Delegation, highlighting the illegitimacy of the oil-soaked US State Department that wrongly claims to represent us and our needs.
What do we stand for?
→ Holding the United States accountable
We hold the United States government accountable for its outsized role in creating and deepening the global climate crisis. U.S. corporate elites and politicians on both sides of the aisle must pay for perpetrating historic and present-day extraction — extraction of our communities, our cultures, our futures, and all life which with we share this earth. We shine a light on the illegitimacy of the so-called U.S. Delegation, led by former ExxonMobil C.E.O. Rex Tillerson. While we know that the Paris Agreement alone is inadequate to solve the climate crisis, we vehemently denounce the President’s decision to withdraw the US from the landmark Agreement. We demand that the United States move forwards – not backwards – by implementing domestic policies in line with science and justice to keep global temperatures from rising above 1.5° Celsus.
→ Acting in solidarity for climate justice
As young people acting in solidarity with frontline communities across the globe, we join the People’s Delegation in demanding an end to fossil fuels and a just transition to democratized renewable energy. As youth, we mobilize alongside climate-vulnerable countries, Indigenous communities, people of color, low-income people, women, workers, undocumented people, and all marginalized communities, recognizing that we are among the least responsible for and hardest hit by climate injustice. We insist that the United Nations prioritize voices of communities on the frontlines of extraction, pollution, and climate change – including Fiji and other island states. We demand that the US and other major polluters pay their fair share of climate costs and damages. For this to happen, the United Nations must reject corporate polluters’ influence at the negotiations.
→ Supporting an unstoppable youth movement
At the root of our work, we aim to empower young people from within and beyond the US to take leadership in global climate justice movements. While young people are differently responsible and impacted by the climate crisis, our leaders’ refusal to take bold action directly compromises all of our futures. Through committing ourselves fully to engage, train, and mobilize alongside young people across the globe, we can and will support global movements for justice with critical people power strong enough to win. Acting in partnership with networks of youth leaders across the world, we wield the power of creative direct action to win clear moral victories. Together, we give our leaders no choice but to ditch profiteering polluters and side with us, the people, as we build for climate action, good jobs, and justice.
Will you follow our journey?
There are many ways to follow us, read our work, and see what we’re up to: