FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Seven CCL campus leaders participate in Local Conference of Youth USA 2023
Oct. 20, 2023 – CCL is proud to announce that seven of our volunteers — Justin Berg, Lizzie Emch, Katharine Gage, Philip Ignatoff, Roksanna Keyvan, Emily O’Keefe, and Helen Tiffin — have been chosen as delegates for this year’s Local Conference of Youth (LCOY) USA 2023.
Steffanie Munguía, CCL’s Student Engagement Director, says, “We are ecstatic to have so many of our college climate champions selected as delegates this year! It is truly a testament to their hard work to build political will for climate solutions on their campuses. Many of these young leaders have been organizing climate action for years with Citizens’ Climate, and we are so excited to see how this experience will allow them to level up their climate advocacy once again.”
The LCOY USA 2023, which takes place this weekend, is a youth-led climate conference endorsed by YOUNGO (Youth and Children’s Constituency to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change). Their website explains:
Every year, the UNFCCC organizes the Conference of Parties, better known as COP. As a precursor to COP, YOUNGO organizes the Conference of Youth (COY), a global event where the Global Youth Statement (GYS) is formalized and represents the demands of young people when presented at COP.
Before the COY, Local COYs are held on a national level in over 70 countries. LCOYs serve as an opportunity for young activists to network, capacity build, discuss the climate reality of their areas, and result in the drafting of the National Youth Statement on Climate (which feeds into the GYS).
“I lobbied Congress for the first time this summer, and it was exciting to see how much my voice matters to legislators as a college student,” says Justin Berg, College of William & Mary. “LCOY is the perfect chance to represent young people again, this time on the international stage. I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to help draft demands to the UN.”
Helen Tiffin, College of William & Mary, agrees, saying, “I am excited for this opportunity to make a tangible, positive impact to strengthen the climate movement outside of CCL and bolster youth voices.”
“I applied to LCOY because in my experience it’s rare to come across young climate activists advocating for carbon pricing and clean energy permitting reform — even though these policies would result in the largest emissions reductions,” says Emily O’Keefe, College of William & Mary. “Because these policies lack representation in youth spaces, I feel responsible for being a strong proponent for them. I’m also excited to network with everyone and learn how we can collaborate!”
“This is a great opportunity to spread the word about carbon fee and dividend among passionate youth in the U.S. and hopefully negotiators at COP,” agrees Katharine Gage, Bowdoin College. “I think it is important that negotiators at COP know that youth support carbon fee and dividend, and that it is not only the most economically sound policy but also a popular one.”
In addition to advocating for carbon pricing and other meaningful policies, the conference brings young people together in meaningful ways.
“It fosters connections and lasting friendships. I am particularly eager to connect with fellow Citizens’ Climate Lobby youth leaders at LCOY, and to work alongside them to focus on the national goals,” says Roksanna Keyvan, Wake Forest University. “The collaborative atmosphere motivates and empowers me, as this opportunity to work with like-minded, empathetic leaders promises personal and collective growth for ourselves and future generations.”
Lizzie Emch, University of Wisconsin – Madison, says one major reason she wanted to get involved was “to connect with passionate people my age to help drive me in all my environmental endeavors. I am really excited for this opportunity and am very grateful there is a virtual option! I cannot wait to hear and absorb all the conversations and presentations I will be participating in.”
“The main reason I got involved was to meet some of our countries’ most passionate climate advocates,” agrees Philip Ignatoff, University of Florida. “I want to learn from them and collaborate with them so we can build the most effective movement possible.”
CONTACT: Flannery Winchester, CCL Senior Director of Communications, 615-337-3642,
Citizens’ Climate Lobby is a nonprofit, nonpartisan, grassroots advocacy organization focused on national policies to address climate change. Learn more at citizensclimatelobby.org.