APS students skip class to participate in climate change walkout

Local News

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Hundreds of APS students ditched school early to join others in downtown Albuquerque on Friday afternoon to speak out on climate change. Organizers of the global climate strike say students from more than 20 Albuquerque schools participated at Robinson Park.

The district says these walk-outs are unexcused absences and local principals were told to tell students they were not allowed to leave campus. But the students say it’s worth it to demand local and state legislators take cation on a warming planet.

“It’s the youth that’s going to be impacted by climate change. We are the ones that have to clean up our older generations’ messes,” student Emese Nagy said.

They’re not even old enough to vote, but these Albuquerque students are demanding action on climate change from both state and local leaders.

“We’re demanding 100% renewable energy by 2030,” Valeria Martinez Hernandez said.

“We’re also asking for a Just Transition Fund, which will help create economic diversity and help people whose jobs depend on oil and gas industries find jobs in other industries,” student Mariluz Lebkuechner said.

Plus, a moratorium on new fracking, and that the lawmakers pass solar-friendly legislation next year.

“We just want to live on a planet that’s healthy,” Martinez Hernandez said.

It was just on Wednesday that city council approved a Declaration of Climate Emergency and created a climate action plan urging the state and Washington lawmakers to take action against climate change.

“We’re joining cities, states, countries all over the world,” City Councilor Isaac Benton said.

The hundreds of strikers marched to spread their message. Friday, Sen. Martine Heinrich said he stands with these young activists and is signing onto the New Green Deal.

“The progress that we’ve made simply hasn’t kept pace with the speed of warming that threatens our very existence. I’m supporting this GND because this rising generation of activists understand what we’re up against,” Sen. Heinrich said.

The Bernalillo County Commission is also set to vote on declaring a climate emergency next week.

In response to Friday’s strike, the Governor’s office says New Mexico is leading the nation in crucial climate actions:

Under Gov. Lujan Grisham’s leadership, New Mexico is leading the nation in crucial climate actions, including landmark renewable energy policy and investments, methane mitigation, and committing New Mexico to the Paris climate agreement. She successfully spearheaded legislation that will ensure utilities around the state transition to 100% carbon-free energy, in addition to tasking every state agency to formulate a climate change mitigation strategy in one of her first executive orders. The governor is glad to see New Mexico youth ensuring that their voice is heard. Their commitment to the future will build on the climate actions we are taking in New Mexico right now.

This is part of an international mission. At last count, the global walk-out had close to 5,000 events in 140 countries.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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