iMatter Youth Leaders in Urbana Present Report Card

On November 14, iMatter youth leaders from Urbana High School, University Laboratory High School, and the University of Illinois came together at the Urbana Committee of the Whole Meeting last night to present the Youth Climate Report Card for the city of Urbana. The youth leaders gave Urbana a C+ for their current efforts on reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The entire Report Card can be viewed here. The city of Urbana has a Climate Action Plan and is aiming for an 80% reducion in emissions and a program that will contribute to removing carbon from the atmosphere. These actions, however, are not strong enough.

“We acknowledge that many consider this a high bar to set. We’re high school and college students; we’re familiar with getting not so perfect grades sometimes.” Lili Banihashem, a student at University Laboratory High School in the featured image above told the Council. “And when this happens, we don’t give up. We work harder. We believe in this city. We know that we can do it, we know that this goal is much more closely aligned to what cities across the country must do, and we refuse to plan for failure.”

Rebecca Laurent, an iMatter facilitator and leader in Urbana in the left photo above, said to the city council, “We commit to working with you to adjust an implement Urbana’s Climate Action Plan to earn an A and contribute to creating a just and liveable future for all people. Because the time for action is now, and nothing is more worth our time.”

“We are here tonight because, as young people, climate change affects us personally.” Nathan Poulosky, a student at the University of Illinois in the right photo above told the Council. “We will deal with the effects of the actions that we take today for the entirety of our lives. To us, this is not a controversial issue. It is a deeply moral one.”

Supporters of the iMatter campaign in Urbana packed the city council chambers. The youth leaders called for Urbana to adopt a Climate Inheritance Resolution, a commitment to working to reduce the community’s greenhouse gas levels more quickly.

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