On Nov. 21, 2019, the city of Miami underwent a climate emergency after months of protests and pressure from local youth activists, including some at Miami Palmetto Senior High School. The largest one occurred on a day of global climate strikes, where dozens of Palmetto students missed school to attend a strike occurring around the world.
“Obviously, it’s a big issue,” Palmetto junior and climate strike attendee Chloe Fefferman said. “What was so impactful about it is that there was so many kids our age.”
Groups such as genCLEO, Fridays for Future Miami and Extinction Rebellion organized protests every Friday, in accordance with 16-year-old Swedishactivist Greta Thunberg’s Fridays for Future movement.
According to the Miami Herald, anticipation of the declaration led Nicholas Vazquez from Extinction Rebellion Miami to take a hunger strike, only broken once Miami governmental officials agreed to a state of emergency over climate change.
Mayor Francis Suarez took a big part in getting the bill passed, as he pushed for its passing and invited youth activists to attend the event.
“It means that what we did actually meant something,” Fefferman said.
The Climate Emergency in Miami comes after that of Miami Beach, an area likely to be most affected by climate change as a whole. According to youth activists, however, this is just the first step. They do not plan on stopping until Miami, and the rest of the world, is safe from the climate change that they say threatens the lives of so many.