The 350NH Youth Team threw a rally in Concord to call out the NH legislature’s inaction this session and demand renewable energy legislation.
CONCORD, NH — On a windy Concord afternoon, approximately 50 people showed up to the front of the State House to protest leaders’ inaction on the climate crisis. Frustrated by the lack of progress on climate legislation, several people, including Senator David Waters, gave speeches about the dangers of fossil fuels and extolled the virtues of renewable energy. Other speakers, such as Dan Weeks, focused on the specific benefits of certain forms of renewable energy, like solar or offshore wind. The speeches, accompanied by chants and music from the Leftist Marching Band, left everybody in high spirits and eager to make a difference in the climate crisis. As the crowd dispersed, they plastered stickers around Concord with the slogan “Rally for Renewables– Climate Justice Now” a message to legislators.
“Today we are demonstrating that we want our legislators to do the right thing and pass bills in favor of renewable energy,” said Nikhil Chavda, student at Coe-Brown and 350NH Youth Fellow. “There are solar power bills in the State House right now, and we want our elected officials to stop ignoring our calls and pass this legislation. We are here because the state’s current actions and status quo are totally unacceptable, and they need to make some changes.”
In the weeks before the rally, climate-related legislation stalled in the State House, leaving many NH residents feeling frustrated and helpless about the future of the climate. Among the bills that failed were HB1506, HB1601, HB1621, and HB1419. These bills contained investments in renewable energy, energy efficiency, and climate-change related planning. Recognizing this, the 350NH Youth Team brought their response to the state house: that the young people of New Hampshire are tired of our legislators’ inaction.
“We can bring hope back to my generation by making effective change,” said Katherine Lessard, 350NH Youth Fellow and resident of Bow, NH, where the last coal fired power plant in New England stands. “We’re here today to demand legislation that will make a tangible impact on stopping the fossil fuel industry from taking the futures and the hope from my generation. My generation deserves the chance to look forward to the future, not fear it.”
The crowd was high-energy, with a mixture of youth activists, seniors who were veterans of the climate fight, local legislators, and members of ReVision Energy. People held massive signs and banners with slogans such as “Climate Justice NOW,” “There is no Planet B,” and “Denial is not a policy.” The 350NH Youth Team focused on communicating the urgency and impact of climate justice.
“I am here to plead for climate action because we know for a fact that climate change is causing drier, warmer winters and it is happening more quickly in the Northeast than in many other parts of the world,” said Levi Roberts, 350NH Youth Fellow from Washington Valley. “Chris Sununu boasted over the years that he is a guy standing for expansion of our so-called “thriving” state economy and job growth, but he failed to sign climate legislation that made it to his desk, and he prevents our state from transitioning away from fossil fuels.”
350NH activists plan to capitalize off of this momentum by pressuring elected officials to make change.