Adults Answer Call of #YouthClimateStrike with Action: It’s Time to Hold Corporations Accountable to the Future
PHILADELPHIA, PA — On Thursday, Sept. 26, dozens of adults and elders descended on PECO’s headquarters with a pressing question: “Climate is changing. Why isn’t PECO?” These activists, including educators and grandparents, were moved to action by the tremendous call of youth leaders around the world, and in particular the thousands of children who poured into the streets of Philadelphia this past Friday. Thursday’s action included speakers from communities affected by PECO’s negligence, and activists participated in civil disobedience to call attention to the current climate crisis. “As adults who care about and love the young people in our community, we know it is our obligation to continue to challenge our region’s electric utility, PECO, to share its plan for avoiding climate catastrophe. Adults can no longer sit back as corporations like PECO continue to cash in on the future of Philadelphia’s youth,” said Dwight Dunston, a Philadelphia educator and board member of Earth Quaker Action Team (EQAT)
For the past four years, the Power Local Green Jobs campaign, led by interfaith groups EQAT and Philadelphians Organized to Witness, Empower & Rebuild (POWER), has been pressuring PECO to make significant investments toward a just, solar transition for the Philadelphia region. This summer, campaign representatives met with PECO CEO Mike Innocenzo and demanded that PECO present a plan to procure 20% of its electricity from local solar by 2025. Sourcing more solar and prioritizing community-ownership could benefit residents in the region and spur thousands of green jobs—but PECO refuses to present a plan despite claims of being a green leader in the city. “PECO’s unwillingness to plan for our children’s future is unacceptable. But as long as PECO executives continue to hide behind office doors, beholden to fossil fuel corporations, we pledge to show up and shine a light on PECO’s fear, hypocrisy, and greed on behalf of the children who call this city home,” said Tabitha Skervin, the Campaign Director of Earth Quaker Action Team.
Power Local Green Jobs is a faith-based economic justice campaign led by Earth Quaker Action Team (EQAT) and Philadelphians Organized to Witness, Empower & Rebuild (POWER). Begun in 2015, the campaign uses nonviolent direct action to pressure PECO, the largest utility in PA, to spur job growth through solar expansion in areas with high unemployment. Learn more at www.eqat.org and www.powerinterfaith.org.