Environment, Local

Atlanta Students Join International Climate Protests

Georgia high school students rallied in front of the State Capital on Friday, asking lawmakers to take action on climate change.
Georgia high school students rallied in front of the State Capital on Friday, asking lawmakers to take action on climate change.
Credit Molly Samuel / WABE
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Students in Atlanta joined thousands of young people around the world on Friday to advocate for action on climate change.

About 150 people gathered at the Georgia State Capital, to show support for the Green New Deal, to encourage a switch to renewable energy, and to ask for a declaration of a national emergency on climate change.

Seventeen-year-old Kendall Greene, a junior at the Lovett School and one of the organizers of the Atlanta protest said she hopes lawmakers hear their message.

“Look at all these young people that care about their futures, that care about their planet,” she said. “How could you be saying that this thing that we’re obviously worried about and that’s very visible, isn’t real.”

State lawmakers weren’t in session, but the students’ chants and signs did garner supportive honks from passing cars.

“There needs to be a sort of change,” said 13-year-old Dominique White, who goes to Durham Middle School.

Dominique had talked her mom, Debbie White, into letting her join the protest. Her mom came along, too.

“I’m so proud,” Debbie White said. “I don’t want her just to be a bystander.”

The Atlanta rally was part of a global wave of protests. Young people planned climate strikes for Friday in more than 100 counties.

Eighteen-year-old MacKinsey Gupta, a senior at Rome High School, traveled with friends to join the Atlanta event. She said has hope that eventually the United States will do something about climate change.

“Even if it doesn’t happen today, it will happen in future generations as those older generations kind of leave, and as we get a chance to become leaders of the world,” she said.

The City of Atlanta has done work on climate change, adding solar panels to some municipal buildings, and recently adopting a plan to shift away from fossil fuels by 2035.