How Can We Accelerate Adaptation to a Changing Climate: Clinton Global Initiative 2022 Meeting

September 20, 2022 , 2:30 pm 5:00 pm EDT

During Climate Week, join Plastic Pollution Coalition Youth Ambassador Xiye Bastida for a panel titled “The Climate Crisis We’re Already in: How We Can Accelerate Adaptation to a Changing Climate,” as part of the Clinton Global Initiative’s 2022 Meeting in New York City.

About: “Established in 2005 by President Bill Clinton, the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) convenes global leaders to create and implement solutions to the world’s most pressing challenges. To date, members of the CGI community have made more than 3,700 Commitments to Action that have made a difference in the lives of more than 435 million people in more than 180 countries. This September, for the first time since 2016, CGI will convene alongside the United Nations General Assembly. During this meeting, more than 1,000 attendees will come together to drive action on climate change, inclusive economic growth, health equity, the refugee crisis, and more.”

September 20, 2022 , 9:30 am 5:00 pm EDT

As part of Climate Week 2022, join Plastic Pollution Coalition Youth Ambassador Xiye Bastida for the panel “Conversation for the Future at the Global Futures Conference with youth leaders Sophia Kianni, founder and executive director, Climate Cardinals; and Natalia da Silveira Arruda, YouthMappers Regional Ambassador, Everywhere She Maps for Brazil and Colombia and PhD student. Moderated by Justin Worland, senior correspondent, TIME.

About the Global Futures Conference: “Co-convened by the Julie Ann Wrigley Global Futures Laboratory™ at Arizona State University and the Earth League, GF22 will bring together members of the public and private sectors, scientists, youth and activists from around the globe to formulate a bold and actionable agenda to push the boundaries of discourse on what can and must be done now. This will not be a passive forum. It is an opportunity to shape the agenda for governments, corporations and multilateral institutions. Conference leaders will publish and promote a roadmap that outlines the far-reaching, crucial solutions developed at this conference–solutions that are simultaneously ambitious and achievable.”

In person at the Javits Center in New York City. Registration is now closed.

Global youth climate activists have teamed up with 5-time Grammy award–winning Blues musician, Keb’ Mo’, and Plastic Pollution Coalition in a new music video to get “Louder” about their demands for urgent climate action.The video was launched just ahead of the Fridays for Future global climate strike on March 25.

The video features dozens of youth activists from around the world, including Xiye Bastida, Jerome Foster II, Lilly Platt, Lauren Ritchie, Hannah Testa, Greta Thunberg, Alexandria Villaseñor, Melati Wijsen, and more. Numerous organizations and partners endorsed the video, including Break Free From Plastic (BFFP), Fridays For Future, Re-Earth Initiative, Sunrise Movement, and more (see complete list below).

Coming Together for #LOUDERClimateAction

The youth leaders worked with Keb’ Mo’ and Plastic Pollution Coalition on the concept for the video. They created posters and signs, sang along to the lyrics, and shared images of their actions, including footage of demonstrations and public speaking events from local city councils to the U.S. Congress to the United Nations.

Youth from around the world are demanding that the well-being of people be prioritized over the profit of the fossil fuel industry, which is harming the planet. They are calling for divestment from fossil fuels and an end to all wars. Their calls to action include keeping oil in the ground, refusing single-use plastics, and more. 

I hear a lot of people say “youth are the future” or “we will change the world.” But that isn’t true because we are not the future, we are the present and we are changing the world right now.

Hannah Testa, Founder of Hannah4Change

As the climate crisis continues to accelerate and disproportionately impact the future of young people, it is especially important and empowering to have youth leading the climate movement. We not only have the moral courage to stand up for what is right, but also the courage to continue believing in, and fighting for, a safer and more just future.

Sena Wazer, Director of Sunrise Movement Connecticut

A Song for a New Generation

“I believe that music has the power to heal,” Keb’ Mo’ explained in an interview, “and I wanted this album to make people feel good.”

About the song “Louder,” Keb’ Mo’ said in an interview, “You know, at one time, I was part of a new generation. In my 20s and in my teens, I was part of the Vietnam War and against nuclear weapons and nuclear power plants and polluted oceans, and they were talking about it back then. And we were mad at the previous generation because they let that happen. And then we became the old generation, and we didn’t do anything, you know? So I’m just kind of calling us out – calling everybody out (laughter) so to speak, kind of apologizing to the new generation.”

This song was born out of a need to talk about things that matter and affect all of us. A song of truth and accountability. I’m honored to help today’s youth amplify their message: We need climate action, and we need it now

Keb’ Mo’, Musician

I’m so moved by the ‘Louder’ video, because I feel for young people navigating the world today. We must support them in every way possible as they advocate for a better future, and we must invest our resources and power to co-create that better future with them.

Dianna Cohen, Co-Founder and CEO, Plastic Pollution Coalition


The activists and organizations involved in the video include (in alphabetical order):

Bahamas Plastic Movement
Xiye Bastida, Re-Earth Initiative
Break Free From Plastic (BFFP)
BFFP YOUTH for Plastic Free Campuses
Jack, The Kid Conservationist
Kareena Desai, Perform for Change
Levi Draheim, Our Children’s Trust
Jerome Foster II, One Million Of Us
Daphne Frias, Box the Ballot
Eva Geierstanger, Plastic Free Gen Z
Cole Hall, Sea Change
Catarina Lorenzo, Eco Club Sustentare
Xiuhtezcatl Martinez, musician
Kevin Mtai, Earth Uprising, Kenya
Maria Serra Olivella, Re-Earth Initiative
Dominique “Dicky” Palmer, Fridays For Future
Kevin Patel, One Up Action
Plastic Pollution Coalition
Lilly Platt, Lilly’s Plastic Pickup
Lauren Ritchie, The Eco Justice Project
Karina Samuel, Bye Bye Plastic Bags
Justin Sather, For the Love of Frogs
Theresa Rose Sebastian, Re-Earth Initiative
Vasser Seydel, The Oxygen Project
Hannah Testa, Hannah4Change
Greta Thunberg, Fridays for Future
John Sollos Trudell, Iyuha Acu Youth Services
Alexandria Villaseñor, Earth Uprising
Sena Wazer, Sunrise Movement
Melati Wijsen, Bye Bye Plastic Bags
Youth PLAN (Post Landfill Action Network)

“Louder” Lyrics

Young people are talking
They want action, and they want it now
They want to change the direction that we’re walking
And the lack of common sense that our laws allow
Some people are saying
That the young folks just don’t understand
But a raging silent revolution
Is rising up all across the land
It’s gonna get louder
It’s gonna get crazy
It’s pickin’ up power
Pickin’ up steam
Got a new generation
Stronger than steel
They’re gonna get louder
It’s about to get real
Young people are thinking
With a mind that’s all their own
Thеy are ready, willing and they arе able
Why don’t we just let them take control
They’re gonna fight the fight ’til they find the answers
They’re gonna do what we have failed to do
They’re gonna throw all the cards on the table
It’s their life they’re giving voices to
And they’re gonna get louder
They’re gonna get crazy
They’re pickin’ up power
Pickin’ up steam
We got a new generation
And they’re stronger than steel
They’re gonna get louder
It’s about to get real
And I’m dreaming of a transformation
Like the world has never seen
Around the world and across every nation
There’s a whisper turning into a scream
And It’s gonna get louder
It’s gonna get crazy
It’s pickin’ up power
Pickin’ up steam
We got a new generation
Stronger than steel
They’re gonna get louder
It’s about to get real
And It’s gonna get louder
It’s gonna get crazy
It’s pickin’ up power
Pickin’ up steam
We got a new generation
Stronger than steel
They’re gonna get louder
It’s about to get real
They’re gonna get louder
It’s about to get real
They’re gonna get louder
It’s about to get real

Guest blog by: Eva Geierstanger on behalf of the Plastic Pollution Coalition Youth Ambassadors.

Before the start of the 2021 UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) in Glasgow Scotland this November, we sat down and spoke with several experts on the global plastics crisis—addressing its impacts from the perspectives of health, and environmental and social justice.

We felt that in our 10 Calls to Action for COP26 leaders, we had to acknowledge the often hidden and complex reality of the plastic crisis, like the involvement of fossil fuels in plastic production and the various impacts of plastic on human and animal life. Specifically, we have learned that plastic has become “the new coal.” As stated in the new report The New Coal: Plastics and Climate Change: “As of 2020, the U.S. plastics industry is responsible for at least 232 million tons of CO2e gas emissions per year. This amount is equivalent to the average emissions from 116 average-sized (500-megawatt) coal-fired power plants.” 

We are seeing  the petrochemical industry increasingly use plastics to make up the profits they are losing due to the global push for cleaner energy. As climate change continues to  threaten us all on a daily basis and endanger future generations with increasing urgency, it is more important than ever to amplify the voices of the scientific community, activists, and victims of industrial colonialism to educate the world on the continued dangers these materials pose.

As youth, we may only be 18% of the population today, but we are 100% of the future. As we look ahead to COP27, we continue to demand that world leaders take urgent action on plastics.

Interview with Heather White, One Green Thing

PPC Youth Ambassadors Amber Chen and Eva Geierstanger interview Heather White about her experience as the founder of One Green Thing, a nonprofit seeking to raise awareness of the impact of climate anxiety on mental health, as part of the Countdown to COP26 and Beyond 2021 campaign.

In this interview, we discuss Generation Z and how the climate crisis has impacted the wellbeing and mental health of the generation as a whole. Heather speaks to the importance of taking climate action one green thing at a time, which can range from writing a letter to congress to spending time outdoors. Heather encourages climate activists, especially youth activists, to find a unique place in the movement that gives them joy and prevents burn-out. 

One Green Thing

Heather’s page

Interview with Jackie Nuñez, The Last Plastic Straw

PPC Youth Ambassadors Amber Chen and Eva Geierstanger interview Jackie Nuñez about her experience as an activist and leader of The Last Plastic Straw as part of the Plastic Pollution Coalition Youth Ambassador’s Ten Calls to Action campaign to world leaders at COP26 and beyond.

Jackie created the No Plastic Straws movement when she founded The Last Plastic Straw in 2011 as a volunteer project for Save Our Shores, and now a program of Plastic Pollution Coalition since 2016. Her goal is to help educate the public about the absurdity of single-use plastic, it’s effects on our health, environment and oceans. Eliminating single-use plastic pollution from the source. While using the plastic straw as a gateway issue towards eliminating our single-use plastic habit.

Jackie Nunez Bio:

Interview with Alexis Goldsmith, Hudson Mohawk Environmental Action Network & Beyond Plastics

PPC Youth Ambassadors Countdown to COP26 and Beyond with Alexis Goldsmith PPC Youth Ambassadors Amber Chen and Eva Geierstanger interview Alexis Goldsmith about her experience as a grassroots organizer and an organizing consultant for Beyond Plastics as part of the Countdown to COP26 and Beyond 2021 campaign.

“Plastic is a production issue and not a consumption issue,” Alexis says. With Beyond Plastics, she is helping bridge the gap in public knowledge about the connection between plastic pollution and the climate crisis. Coming from Indiana, Alexis has a deep appreciation for sustainable agriculture and helping land “thrive ecologically.” As co-founder of the Hudson Mohawk Environmental Action Network, a grassroots organization advocating for environmental justice and indigenous rights along the Hudson River, she shares the importance of giving back to the lands damaged by fossil fuels and plastic. When asked about her hopes for COP26, Alexis replied:

“We need to stop fossil fuel development, period. We need to stop taking fossil fuels out of the ground and stop the build-out of fossil fuel infrastructure. We need to protect the ecosystems that we have left and restore ecosystems that have been damaged. We need to listen to indigenous peoples and BIPOC peoples, listen to their stories, and let them lead on this.”

Interview with Dr. Arlene Blum, Green Science Policy Institute at UC-Berkeley

PPC Youth Ambassadors Amber Chen and Eva Geierstanger interview Dr. Arlene Blum about her experience using scientific research to change policy toward a healthier world as part of the Countdown to COP26 and Beyond 2021 campaign.

In this interview, Dr. Blum shares how her biophysical chemistry and mountaineering background helped her to not only solve difficult research problems and climb challenging peaks, but also to overcome the obstacles from the chemical industry in reducing the use of toxic chemicals. She conducted groundbreaking research of the elimination of flame retardants from children’s sleepwear. Since then, as the Executive Director of the Green Science Policy Institute and as a scientist at UC Berkeley, Dr. Blum has taken the lead in convening scientists, policy makers, and business leaders to reduce harm from toxics. In this interview, we hear how she hoped COP would consider “Plastic and chemicals in addition to climate”.

Green Science Policy Institute’s homepage

Dr. Arlene Blum’s Website

Interview with Dr. Shanna Swan

PPC Youth Ambassadors Amber Chen and Eva Geierstanger interview Dr. Shanna Swan about her perspective of single-use plastic as one of the world’s leading environmental and reproductive epidemiologists as part of the Countdown to COP26 and Beyond 2021 campaign.

Dr. Swan and her colleagues have been studying the dramatic impact of plastic and environmental chemicals on the reproductive health of all people. Her book Countdown, which talks about how the modern world is harming reproductive health, came out in February 2021. In this interview, Amber and Eva ask Dr. Swan about the impact of the toxicity of plastic and recent developments in her field of research. When it comes to COP26, Dr. Swan hoped for “a discussion of the role of fossil fuels in the production of plastic and a recognition that these two conditions, climate change and the plastic crisis, are intimately linked.”

Swan’s website

A delegation of Plastic Pollution Coalition (PPC) Youth Ambassadors attended the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) in Glasgow, Scotland, held October 31–November 12. The group included Jerome Foster II, Xiye Bastida, Kevin J. Patel, Lilly Platt, and Aeshnina “Nina” Azzahra. The youth were there to call on world leaders to take action on plastics and fossil fuels to solve the climate crisis.

Plastic is a major contributor to climate change. 99% of plastic is made from fossil fuels, so more single-use plastic means more fossil fuel extraction, production, and greenhouse gas emissions—and more serious impacts to our health and planet.

PPC Youth Ambassadors join youth climate activists from around the world at COP26 in November 2021. Back row, left to right: Indy Howeth, Vic Barrett, Elijah McKenzie Jackson, Kevin J. Patel, Jerome Foster II, and Gregor E D Sharp. Front row, left to right Alexandra Villaseñor, Xiye Bastida, Ayisha Siddiqa, and Leah Thomas.

The PPC youth had 10 calls to action for world leaders at COP26:

In addition, they supported the broader climate demands by youth leaders at COP26:

  1. Divest from all fossil fuel investments, reinvest in green energy, and ensure a just transition led by workers and impacted communities.
  2. Center climate justice in all key policy decisions.
  3. Stop all open pipelines and oil extraction initiatives from Line 3 in the US to Cambo in Scotland.
  4. Hold large corporations accountable for their actions that contribute directly to the climate crisis.
  5. Create policies to protect activists’ rights to peaceful protest and safeguard democracy around the world.
  6. Remove the economic, political, and social influence of fossil fuel companies from key international climate meetings.

Youth activists broadly reported they did not feel heard at COP 26 and expressed frustration at the heavy presence of fossil fuel lobbyists. And even though COP26 may not have delivered what we need to stave off a dangerous level of climate change, our youth are not stopping their efforts. In 2022, youth activists from around the world plan to gather in Paris, where the historic Agreement was signed, to create a roadmap for countering the massive injustices happening around the world from plastic pollution and the environmental health and climate crises.

At PPC, we think it’s critical to support and uplift youth voices in our efforts to solve plastic pollution and the climate crisis, and will keep doing all we can to safeguard their, and all of our, futures.

Guest blog by: Eva Geierstanger and Amber Chen, Plastic Pollution Coalition Youth Ambassadors

As youth, we may only be 18% of the population today, but we are 100% of the future. The decisions made at this year’s United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) must be crafted to not only prepare for the future, but to improve the state of the world right now. We are the voices of youth and we ask to be heard.

Dear COP26 leaders, we ask you to take these 10 actions:

We must move to systems of reusable, refillable, and package-free products. This means that fossil fuel and petrochemical permits must be suspended and legislation addressing plastic should be passed. For example, the UN Global Plastic Treaty, which addresses the plastic crisis at every point of the plastic’s lifecycle, should be passed to regulate waste management, eliminate toxic substances, and develop solutions that acknowledge plastic’s role in global warming.

COP26 must establish clear investment goals to build a truly resilient circular system in which waste is reduced and reused in an ethical manner that prioritizes workers. Waste and pollution must be reduced AT THE SOURCE, products must be reused multiple times rather than used once, and when possible materials should be recycled back into the earth. 

COP26 must focus on environmental justice issues. World leaders must acknowledge the negative impact that fossil fuel and plastic production have on BIPOC communities and ensure that their needs are addressed. At every point of plastic’s lifecycle, the safety and health of BIPOC and low-income communities must be a priority at COP26. In addition, plastic waste exportation to other, poorer countries must end.

Richer countries must fund poorer countries and give them the space and resources to take climate action. COP26 must acknowledge that poorer countries bear the consequences of the waste and pollution caused primarily by richer countries. 

COP26 must address the exposure to environmental toxins in plastics and regulate the use of toxins in manufacturing that hurt the health, especially the reproductive health, of all people. 

World leaders must enact widespread education to bring truth to the public about plastic production, plastic pollution, the importance of fossil fuel divestment, clean green energy, and regenerative agriculture systems. Companies must remain transparent about their level of sustainability. 

Fracking and Cracking fossil fuels, and releasing  microplastics, microfibers and chemicals, harm our water sources. COP26 must address the safety of the world’s water.

We must measurably reduce air pollution. This will be accomplished WHEN we STOP burning fossil fuels and plastics to produce energy, chemicals, oil, and plastics. 

Leaders must also Commit to reforming and improving DEMOCRACY for all. Communities affected by plastic pollution need access to advocate for themselves and their communities.

Our 10th call to action for COP26: World leaders must take action not just for our future, but for our NOW. As Francois Hollande, the past president of France, says, “We must act urgently and do everything we can to give younger generations a future!”

We must approach the climate crisis on an intergenerational basis. Experienced people must work collaboratively with Younger people so that EVERYONE may live in a fossil fuel-free and plastic-free world. 

Support the world’s youth ambassador calls to action for world leaders at COP26. Sign here.