More than 100 families and youth activists gathered Sunday for the second annual Mother’s Day Climate Rally in Fairfax County, Virginia, to demand that public officials take action to address climate change, including ending the use of all fossil fuels and converting Virginia to 100 percent clean energy by 2035.
Del. Elizabeth Guzman (D-Dale City), who told the crowd that climate change has been the single greatest threat facing the planet, stressed that its impacts are already apparent.
“The science does not lie; we are impacting our planet and the threat is dire,” she said. “The continuation of our species depends on our actions as legislators right now and we must move swiftly towards a clean energy renewable future.”
Guzman added that coastal Virginians live in particularly vulnerable communities and face disproportionate impacts.
“The effects on our clean air and water quality make it a public health problem and we owe it to our children and grandchildren to prioritize acting on climate change,” she said.
Del. Vivian Watts (D-Annandale) noted that women’s first focus has been on where they live.
“And they do their homework,” Watts said. “This combination has brought renewed and effective energy to environmental concerns as a result of the 75 percent increase in the number of women in the House of Delegates.”
Attorney Allison Kole, who’s working on the landmark youth climate case, Juliana v. U.S., said systemic and science-based climate recovery can be achieved with the support of young people.
“Our Children’s Trust elevates the voice of youth, those with most at stake in the climate crisis, to secure the legal right to a stable climate and healthy atmosphere,” Kole said.
The rally was organized by a coalition of 12 environmental groups, including NOVA Climate, 350 Fairfax, 350 Loudon, Sierra Club Great Falls Group and Moms Clean Air Force.