Establishing a Climate Action Plan for Indiana

Establishing a Climate Action Plan for Indiana
From left to right: Zalika, Julia, Lex, Rosemary, Bri, Jim and Jackson.
In September of 2013, I became executive director of Earth Charter Indiana, Inc. This happy concatenation of coincidences and, well, a bit of magic, has been catalogued elsewhere. Suffice to say I was hired to launch a youth program, which we did so in May, called Youth Power Indiana.

Our tagline: Youth-driven climate stewardship and civic leadership.

While Youth Power Indiana has been engaged in all sorts of sustainability actions and celebrations, i.e. climate stewardship, our first real act of civic leadership took place on June 11, when we approached the Environmental Rules Board with a Petition for Rulemaking, with the goal of establishing a Climate Action Plan for Indiana.

Indiana is in the minority of states in the US without a Climate Action Plan. Thirty-four states have one, 16 do not.

I’ll speak solely from my impressions. The board members were kind and attentive. They listened deeply to each speaker, showing respect for our young people.Above, here we are after the presentation — pretty happy looking, aren’t we? Well, we should be. Each young person took on their challenge beautifully, turning their messages into a request for leadership and hope for partnership.

Afterward, a number of us approached board members with handshakes and smiles. I saw our youth team doing the same thing — I was so impressed with their maturity and poise!

We believe we have jumped thru the legal hoops of this formal process called a Petition for Rulemaking. We have over 200 bona fide signatures — from climatologists, doctors, teachers, lawyers, writers and artists. We believe our proposal has merit: climate change is real and threatening our lives.

We will hope that the Environmental Rules Board feels the same and allows our proposal to continue so that everyday Hoosiers can make their voice be heard. Next step would be a public hearing in the coming months.

Want to support these youth? Then sign our petition!


Original posted at The Climate Chronicles