A peaceful, youth lead and organized group marches to Chase bank from the capitol building to rally with speakers and performers.

COLORADO – A coalition of Colorado youth with the support of environmental and community organizations rallied at the Colorado State Capitol as part of the global youth climate strike movement, Fridays for Future on Friday, March 25th. The global movement, launched in 2018, has engaged over 140 million people in calling for climate justice and equity while keeping the global temperature rise below 1.5 degrees Celsius compared to pre-industrial levels. 

Citing increasing concerns over climate, increasing wildfires, and the effects of the war in Ukraine, Colorado youth rallied on Friday to ensure #PeopleOverProfit and to call on Colorado and corporate leaders to do more to take bold climate action and curb fossil fuel investments, particularly in Russian oil companies. 

Speakers representing youth voices called out connections between war, the climate crisis, and the fossil fuel industry – and urged leaders to do more to support climate justice while also immediately halting investments in companies that are not only enabling an unjust war but also enabling continued climate devastation. 

“War leads to an unprecedented amount of fossil fuel emissions and keeps us way off track from keeping the global temperature rise below 1.5-2° Celsius,” Says Colorado Youth Climate Leader Madeline Pierce.Polling released last month shows that 82% of Coloradans consider climate change a serious problem, with 98% saying wildfires that threaten homes and property are a serious problem here.” 

From the Capitol, the youth marched to Chase Bank on E. Colfax Avenue to call out their involvement with Gazprom, one of the world’s largest gas companies, and to urge them to divest from fossil fuel funding. Because of sanctions from the rest of the world as a result of the brutal attack on Ukraine, Gazprom has become a central way for Russia to work around sanctions and provide funding for the invasion. JPMorgan Chase is the greatest investor in Gazprom, with no other US bank being in the top ten investors. 

Additional note & ways to be involved: Climate change has a disproportionate impact on youth. Many feel the real frustration about inheriting a world that is in need of total overhaul when it comes to energy, conservation, and justice. DU social work grad student Mason Smith and 350 Colorado intern is conducting a study on the relationship between youth mental health and the climate crisis. She is looking for youth ages 13-20 that are interested in participating in a 30 minute interview. Sign up here! Making your voice heard as a youth is more important than ever, and research like this is essential for informing policy.

The momentum stays rolling into April, as we have 350 Colorado staff Heidi Leathwood and climate youth leader Madeline Pierce speaking on Colorado Young Leader’s panel on youth and climate policy on Monday 4/18 from 6:30-8pm. For more information, click here. 

Who should join? This is an introductory workshop for youth all across the state to learn about how to take direct action to create solutions to address climate change. Anyone who is interested in climate change, policy, awareness, the environment, sustainability, or just taking the first step in getting involved should join!  Presenters include: Climate Policy Officer at the U.S. Department of State & 350 Colorado.

Activists chanting and marching east down Colfax Ave towards Chase bank.

DJ Cavem performing and speaking about the importance of growing your food and connecting to the earth at Chase bank.