Thousands of Portland students participate in youth climate strike

Published: May. 20, 2022 at 5:14 PM PDT
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PORTLAND Ore. (KPTV) - Thousands of Portland students took to the streets Friday in a youth climate strike.

The students’ goal is to hold leaders, companies and agencies in our area accountable in the climate crisis.

“I care so much about making sure there’s an environment my kids and my grandkids and my friends you can see so many other students care about the same thing,” JJ Klein-Wolf, strike organizer and student at Ida B. Wells High School said.

“It’s really about making sure that there’s a world that is not only something that people can live on but can safely live on and inhabit.”

At City Hall, organizers asked the handful of elected leaders that showed up from the local to state level, to sign a climate pledge saying they’ll oppose new investments in fossil fuel production whenever they can, not accept money from the oil, gas and coal industries, and support climate policy and action.

“This is the most important crisis facing our world,” Multnomah County Commissioner Sharon Meieran said. “We’re doing things like electrifying our vehicles, de-carbonizing our facilities and construction.”

The students called out ODOT, NW Natural, Zenith Oil, and the Portland Business Alliance as contributors to the climate crisis.

We reached out to all of them.

Zenith told us they’re a leader in storing renewable diesel, helping the state reduce its carbon footprint.

ODOT said it’s investing $100 million to encourage use of electric vehicles, putting more money in mass transit, and making roads safer for people walking and biking.

NW Natural said it’s committed to a low-carbon future and is the first local gas distribution utility in the continental U.S. to own a renewable natural gas facility.

And the Portland Business Alliance said they promote innovating and investing in clean technologies.

This was the last climate event for students this school year, but the organizers said the festival and booths at Revolution Hall were meant to encourage students to get involved with environmental organizations this summer.