SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WCIA)– Students around the world walked out of class on Friday ahead of the United Nation’s Climate Action Summit in New York on Monday. Students and community members in Springfield joined the Global Climate Strike with legislation on their minds.
“The action that we want is the Clean Jobs Act to be passed in Illinois and we want the Green New Deal addressed in Congress and we want international action,” said student organizer Francesca Butler.
Supporters say the bill in Illinois would lead to more than 40 million solar panels and 2,500 wind turbines installed in the state, putting Illinois on pace to have 100 percent renewable energy by 2050.
“Oh Congress you, you got what I need. We want clean energy, we want clean energy,” students sang on the campus’ colonnade.
Even the youngest environmentalists called on lawmakers to do something. “Being 16, I should not be in a situation where I have to talk about this but I am and I want people to know that it’s important and they need to listen,” said Pleasant Plains High School junior.
Organizers said now is the time for change. “My message to lawmakers is to take this seriously, we are a sinking ship right now and that is something that needs to change. We can talk about the economy and fiscal responsibility and all of that is very important but it won’t matter if we don’t have a planet to live to live on. So it’s really important that Illinois becomes the leader in this climate effort,” Butler said.
Students plan to rally in support of the measure October 29th at the capitol.