Students lobby for clean energy at capitol

Sophie Downey, Arts and Entertainment Editor

At the beginning of the week, South students’ voices were heard by representatives, legislators, and senators. On Sunday, February 24 and Monday, February 25, several South students took part in a workshop and lobby day at the capitol, where they advocated for environmental policies.

Junior Shira Breen is part of Youth Environmental Activists Minnesota (YEA! MN), which helped orchestrate the Sunday event. The event, called the Next Generation Environmental Conference, consisted of speakers and workshops to help prepare high school and college students from across Minnesota to speak about environmental issues in front of congresspeople. On Monday, Breen and several other South students lobbied at the capitol for a higher solar standard and renewable electricity standard.

“Right now,” Breen said, “about 2 or 3% by 2030 of all power in Minnesota will be solar, and we were lobbying for 10% by 2030. And the renewable electricity standard is 25% by 2025, and we were lobbying for 40%.”

The conference on Sunday was also in preparation for another event in March, called the Youth Environmental Congress.

“It’s a way for the youth voice to be represented in politics about environmental issues, as its something related to the future of the youth, so their voice should be represented in politics,” said Breen.

“It’s just really inspiring to be around so many high schoolers and talking to legislators,” she added. “And it’s always inspiring to be at the capitol, just because you get to be exposed to so much going on, and people take you seriously.