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Vt. Climate Council seeks new youth members

Published: Jun. 20, 2022 at 8:41 AM EDT|Updated: Jun. 20, 2022 at 8:43 AM EDT
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MONTPELIER, Vt. (WCAX) - Vermont’s Climate Council is looking to attract more young people to serve in various roles.

Iris Hsiang, a former youth climate council member calls this legislative session a success, the first since the state’s Climate Action Plan was released.

“All in all it was a good step forward and a good show that climate is still an issue that our Legislature cares about and really that our people care about,” Hsiang said.

Those wins included the Environmental Justice bill signed into law by the governor. But Hsiang says more could have been done on issues like the Clean Heat Standard.

Vermont’s Climate Council is also looking to bring on more young people to serve in various roles. The youth member to council represents the voices of the next generation of climate activists. Vermont Natural Resources Secretary Julie Moore says Hsiang played a major role on the council and came up with ideas like adding more young people.

“We are the people that it is going to affect the most and so having our voices to remind people that our lives are on the line is something that is really important to this work and something that we can’t leave out,” said Hsiang.

As a youth member, responsibilities include voting on measures presented to the council, attending meetings, serving on subcommittees, and being a voice for the next generation.

Hsiang pushed to add six new youth members. The deadline to apply to be on the council is Monday.

Julie Moore agrees this year came with many wins for Vermont’s investments in climate but that the plans will need to be updated. She says they also need to look harder at transportation and clean heat standards for future sessions. “We are talking about 2030, 2050, where they will be -- today’s youth -- will be the adults,” said Moore.

Hsiang saw her role as a constant reminder to help move the agenda forward. “Really, that their role -- is to keep reminding the other climate counselors and the Scott administration in particular that we need climate action now,” Hsaing said.

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