On September 20, three days before the UN Climate Summit, young people around the world will strike to demand immediate and transformative climate action. For the first time, they are asking for adults to join them. As a firm dedicated to giving voice to the next generation, VMDO is answering that call for solidarity by participating in the Youth Climate Strike occurring in Charlottesville (details and RSVP here) and in Washington DC (details and RSVP here), and we encourage our fellow design professionals, community members, and families to do the same.
Raising Awareness about Climate Change
The time to act is now, according to numerous organizations including Architecture 2030 and the American Institute of Architects – two building industry organizations who have set clear targets for achieving carbon neutrality by 2030. “Reaching a 50% carbon emissions reduction in the built environment by 2030, and zero emissions by 2050, is critical if we are to successfully manage climate change,” explains Architecture 2030 in a recent report. “Anything weaker and we’re on track to miss the critical deadline for keeping warming under 1.5 degrees Celsius.” Essentially, we need to move faster to meet these targets to ensure the effects of global warming are kept in check.
Showing Solidarity with Students
Young people understand the urgency of the climate crisis and are leading the way in calling for change. As a firm with a singular focus on learning and community, we deeply understand our responsibility to the next generation when we build. One way we take responsibility is by designing net-zero energy schools and high performance buildings that teach stewardship and enable students’ visions for a green future to become a reality.
Those who will live with the long-term effects of our actions today deserve a fighting chance. That’s where we and other advocates come in – by uplifting the voices and stories of young people on the frontlines to ensure we are creating a climate justice movement for all of us. “This is our opportunity to move beyond the traditional climate bubble and expand the table of who is involved in this movement,” states the Youth Climate Strike Coalition. “This strike is an invitation to choose kids, choose humanity, choose the future.”
How to Get Started
Some lists of helpful resources and organizations follow:
Organizations – Advocacy:
Organizations – Building Industry:
Join us on September 20 as we stand with students demanding climate action. The next generation deserves a platform to voice their concerns and offer solutions as we collectively work to combat climate change.