November 18, 2019 Baltimore County
Workgroup to Ensure Youth Voices Included in Efforts to Combat Climate Change
Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski today announced the formation of the Baltimore County Youth Climate Working Group to better engage young people in the County's ongoing efforts to adopt sustainable practices and policies to combat climate change.
The first-of-its-kind workgroup will convene high school students from around Baltimore County to ensure youth voices, concerns, and recommendations are included in the County's Climate Action Plan and other sustainability efforts.
Consequences of Climate Change in Baltimore County
"We are already seeing the consequences of climate change in Baltimore County, and they will only grow more severe in the years ahead unless we take action now," said County Executive Olszewski. "Youth voices are among the most important in the global fight for our planet because they will be the most impacted by our actions. We need their vision and passion to build a cleaner, greener and more sustainable Baltimore County."
Earlier this year, students in Baltimore County and across the world participated in the Global Climate Strike to demand action be taken to address climate change. By engaging them through this working group, students' impassioned call for progress can help lead to tangible solutions at the local level.
Students will have opportunities to meet with the County Executive, Chief Sustainability Officer, and other members of the administration to share their perspectives on climate change, discuss how it impacts their communities, and to develop potential solutions. Recommendations and feedback from the Youth Climate Working Group will be incorporated in the County's final Climate Action Plan.
This is the latest effort from the Administration to promote environmental sustainability and enhance community input into government.
In August, County Executive Olszewski named former Delegate Steve Lafferty as Baltimore County's first Chief Sustainability Officer. Lafferty is tasked with leading the county's efforts to mitigate the impact of climate change and to promote countywide sustainability initiatives. The Sustainability Officer will lead the development of county-wide Climate Action Plan, covering topics such as reduced energy consumption, promotion of green infrastructure, and sustainable growth policy.
Bringing Students and Young People Into the Processes
"We are thrilled to provide young people with this opportunity to share their opinions and ideas about the impact of climate change," Lafferty said. "By bringing students and young people into the processes, we can make sure they are part of the solution today while inspiring the leaders of tomorrow to carry on the fight for a cleaner, greener future."
Baltimore County partnered with schools across the county to recruit 20 students to participate in the Working Group.
The Youth Climate Working Group will hold its first meeting on Monday, November 18, 2019.