I am speaking on behalf of the students of Schools for Climate Action, and my generation.

Rapid, far-reaching, unprecedented. These are the words used by the greatest climate scientists on the planet to describe the climate crisis and ecological emergency we are in. They are the words used in the United Nations IPCC report, which outlines the consequences of not lowering our emissions fast. Very fast.

We only have until the year 2030 to reach net-zero climate pollutants. Reaching this goal will require changes in all aspects of society, and we have only 10 years to achieve this. If we fail, there will be irreversible damage done to our planet. These next 10 years are our only window of opportunity to have any effect on our climate crisis.

Make no mistake, we will not have to wait until 2030 to see the effects of the climate crisis. More frequent wildfires, longer droughts, and stronger heatwaves are examples of how our local community has already been and will continue to be affected by the climate crisis.

I know this is a very frightening idea, but this truth is why I am here today: 2030 is only 10 years away, I will be only 28 years old by then. I don’t have time to grow up and be a scientist and solve the problem for you. I don’t have time to grow up and run for office and take the necessary action needed.

As much work as my peers and I have done through the Schools for Climate Action group, we are not the elected officials with the resources to solve this crisis. All of you here have the power to create the necessary actions to tackle the climate crisis.

These next 10 years are the only time we have. The decisions you make in the next decade will directly affect the rest of my life. You have the power to decide if I live out the rest of my life on a healthy planet, or on a dying one.

When my generation’s future depends on your choices, we don’t have time to eventually get to solutions. They must be rapid. It will not be enough to stick to the same worn-out methods. Solutions must be unprecedented. We can’t afford for solutions to be limited. They must be far-reaching.

When it is 2030, I know I will have done everything in my power to help solve this crisis. And I hope you will be able to say the same.

Isabel Martín

New Technology High School

Class of 2020

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