With the United Nations’ 26th annual climate change conference–aka COP26–happening in Glasgow, Scotland this week, we thought it was the perfect time to re-air Abby’s conversation with environmental activist Varshini Prakash. Varshini is the executive director and co-founder of the Sunrise Movement, a youth-centered climate activist group that’s helped bring the climate crisis to the forefront of national politics in the United States. The organization has made a name for itself by coordinating confrontational climate protests, and working to popularize the Green New Deal. Back when Abby interviewed Varshini, nobody would have predicted that two Democrats (Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Senator Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona) would bring down President Biden's plan to implement sweeping progressive policies nationwide. Still, Sunrise is not letting the President off the hook: on October 20, five Sunrise activists began staging a hunger strike outside the White House, demanding that he take executive action, in spite of legislative obstacles. After 14 days without food they ended the strike, when President Biden promised a 50% decrease in emissions by 2030.
Tune in for an inspiring conversation about the determination of younger generations to lead, and the power of grassroots movements to address the climate crisis.
Follow Varshini and The Sunrise Movement on Twitter: @varshprakash and @sunrisemvmt
The Sunrise Movement Website
United Nations Climate Change, Glasgow Climate Change Conference
New York Times, Key to Biden's Climate Agenda Likely to Be Cut Because of Manchin Opposition, 2021
New York Times, Your Country Is Getting a Bad Deal, and You Can Do Better, 2021
The Guardian, Climate advocates who backed Sinema exasperated by blocking of Biden bill, 2021
Al Jazeera, Climate activists go on hunger strike near WH urging Biden to act, 2021
Huffington Post, 5 Young Activists On Hunger Strike Demand Democrats Not Cut Back On Climate in Bill, 2021