Youth Climate Pledge

The pledge below was developed by Evanston Youth for Environmental Activism (EYEA) and is intended to highlight some of the most important aspects of  the Climate Action and Resilience Plan (CARP), while also stressing the intersectionality of climate action and justice. After interviewing several Evanston climate experts, the group distributed the pledge to mayoral and aldermanic candidates, youth organizations, and ETHS students requesting that they sign on.

Potential leaders of Evanston,

We, the youth of Evanston, urge not only the implementation of the Climate Action and Resilience Plan (CARP), but to go beyond its bounds. While Evanston has begun to take the steps necessary towards environmental action, we must understand that there is much work to be done. The City of Evanston cannot hide behind the progressiveness of CARP as a whole. While CARP’s timeline is reachable with bold action, we must push beyond and commit to more ambitious goals. In addition, we must understand that CARP isn’t something to simply be adopted; we cannot let the plan for our very survival be sidelined. We must stress the need for officials to take meaningful action to address environmental injustice, and to recognize the intersectionality of climate action and equity, breathing it into every action we take.

Therefore, we call for candidates to commit to the following actions:

  • Create a CARP implementation strategy
    • Support a long-term financing and funding strategy for implementing CARP
  • Commit to environmental justice efforts
    • Support and implement the Environmental Justice Resolution as an ordinance
    • Reduce food insecurity through urban agriculture and other programs
  • Zero waste initiative
    • Equitable access law to composting & recycling
    • Revise the plastic bag ban in a way that creates a pathway to eliminate all single-use shopping bags within a few years and ensure reusable bags are widely accessible
    • Commit to the diversion of food waste from landfills
    • Phase-out single-use serving utensils and containers, with assistance to small or low-income restaurants
  • Hire a Sustainability Coordinator for all Evanston schools
    • Implement climate curriculum in all Evanston schools
  • Community Outreach Program: Create a clear community engagement strategy, emphasizing accessibility to marginalized Evanston residents
    • Implement the Neighbors to Neighbors Program
    • Create a survey in collaboration with community members in an effort to center/specify the environmental needs of Evanston residents
  • Improve conservation efforts
    • Explore incorporating planting solutions, as well as hardscape, to combat beach erosion
    • Prioritize green infrastructure projects to reduce flooding where possible
  • Renewable Energy
    • Take action to enact long term commitments to renewable energy
    • Make solar panels accessible to all Evanston schools
  • Target buildings for greenhouse gas emissions
    • Work towards net-zero energy commitment for city buildings
    • Revise building/energy codes to reach full electrification for buildings in Evanston
    • Educate building owners/community on the need for electrification
  • Ensure that companies doing business in Evanston understand and support our goals and CARP

We hope that you will recognize the necessity of these actions and will take the steps to make Evanston a leader in climate justice. Evanston youth will continue to demand action, regardless of the measure.

— Evanston Youth For Environmental Activism

To contact the group with questions or to see who has committed to the pledge, please email anthonyinhorn2022@u.northwestern.edu

You can connect with EYEA on Instagram @etownclimateyouthpledge and Facebook @Evanston Youth For Environmental Activism.