Youth Climate Activism in Your Community

Youth Climate Activism in Your Community

Youth advocacy is a driving force for climate action across the globe. From starting community projects to speaking at global climate conferences, young activists have demonstrated their power to inspire change and transform the world for the better. MCE is committed to supporting the upcoming environmental leaders in our communities.

“It’s imperative to amplify and uplift the voices of youth who can imagine a better world. I view the Earth as something older generations are borrowing from future generations. We have a moral obligation to take care of the planet because this planet is not ours to destroy.”

“Young people are the voters and consumers of tomorrow. It’s important to me to inspire other young people to take action and make positive choices for the environment. Youth can create change in their families, their schools, and their communities.”

“There are so many opportunities for young people to get involved. If you’re an engaged young person, there’s no doubt that an experienced adult is going to step up to support you and your work. [Young people] can do a lot of things to get involved, like join a nonprofit, a committee, or an organization. In Richmond, there are a lot of nonprofit organizations with an emphasis on environmental activism.”

Local Youth Organizations Leading the Fight Against Climate Change

Here are some of your community organizations empowering young people to join the climate action movement.

Asian Pacific Environmental Network (APEN)

APEN is a local environmental justice organization focused on building local justice transition models. The youth branch of the organization helps young leaders build their outreach and organizing skills so that they have the tools necessary to advocate for climate justice solutions.

In collaboration with the RYSE Center, APEN is developing a youth-led resilience hub where community members can find support before, during, and after climate disasters.

“Climate change is an ongoing problem, and these solutions take time, so we need to prepare these young folks. ... Young people can constantly give us new feedback about how society is changing and what needs to be talked about in the environmental justice movement.”

California Youth Climate Leaders (CYCL)

CYCL is a Marin-based youth-led organization advocating for climate action. CYCL promotes the transition to a carbon-free future through community service projects, climate education, and government action. The organization is currently advocating for plant-based school lunches, plastic waste education, and community gardens to restore native plants.

Bay Area Youth Climate Summit

The Bay Area Youth Climate Summit empowers young people to take action in their communities by hosting workshops, discussions, and climate action planning sessions. Events are open to students in the Bay Area and beyond and cover topics ranging from cutting auto emissions to protecting the world’s oceans. Their website also offers resources to help young people brainstorm and roll out local climate action plans.


ClimateNOW is a youth-led organization founded by Marin high school student Sarah Goody. This organization is dedicated to educating young people about climate change and how they can create a more sustainable and just future. To date, it has engaged over 10,000 youth and spoken at over 50 schools across the globe. ClimateNOW organizes climate strikes, offers free climate action toolkits, and provides volunteer opportunities for youth looking to get involved in the fight against climate change.

Generation: Our Climate

Generation: Our Climate is a youth advocacy group reforming the local climate agenda. It has organized climate marches and events to involve the local community in climate activism. Members have testified at numerous public meetings to advocate for more sustainable policies. In 2017, members Allegra Schunemann, Luci Paczkowski, and Milo Wetherall testified at the San Rafael City council in support of the City opting up their municipal accounts to Deep Green 100% renewable energy.

“Local government leaders, I need you to act today to do more, to do all you can for my generation’s future. Clean energy isn’t a convenience. It’s an absolute necessity.”

Sustainable Contra Costa

Sustainable Contra Costa’s youth branch, Sustainable Leaders in Action (SILA), helps educate youth on how to live sustainably and build a cleaner community. In collaboration with Contra Costa County Library, SILA hosts Climate Careers Chats to provide information on career development in the environmental field. SILA members also promote the Cleaner Contra Costa Challenge to encourage community members to reduce their carbon footprint.

Youth vs. Apocalypse (YVA)

YVA is a Bay Area youth-led organization working to uplift the voices of climate justice activists, particularly activists of color and working-class youth. YVA advocates for a more equitable and sustainable world through multiple campaigns and initiatives, including school presentations, activism workshops, and press conferences. YVA supports numerous campaigns, such as #CAYouth vs Big Oil, which calls for California leadership to halt investment in the fossil fuel infrastructure, and #divestCalSTRS, which calls for the California State Teachers’ Retirement System to divest the $6 billion they give to the fossil fuel industry.

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