Our Work


In May 2005, the Coalition launched the Campus Climate Change, a three-year campaign to unite students and young people in achieving clean energy policies on thousands of campuses and communities. Students won hundreds of victories, and use of renewable energy started to become the norm on college campuses. As of May 2010, 685 campuses are committed to the President's Climate Commitment, a campus carbon neutrality pledge.


In November 2007, the Coalition convened the first national youth climate summit at Power Shift 2007. More than 6,000 young people from all 50 states gathered at the University of Maryland on the outskirts of Washington, DC for a weekend of training, action and inspiration. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, and Congressman Ed Markey recognized the growing movement, addressing the 6,000 young people gathered at U-MD. It was here that Van Jones, founder of Green For All and future White House Advisor, and other environmental justice leaders captivated a generation with a vision of creating millions of green jobs for our country and restoring economic and environmental justice. Exactly one year before the 2008 elections, young people returned to their campuses and communities ready to rally for a clean energy economy in the upcoming elections.


In the fall of 2008, the Power Vote campaign took campuses across the country by storm. A nationally coordinated, non-partisan get-out-the-vote-campaign built local power for the clean energy economy and united 350,000 young voters behind a call for clean and just energy. The campaign held a presence at party conventions, presidential debates, and hosted a national webcast with Vice President Al Gore.


Young people recognize that change doesn't end on Election Day. In February 2009, an unprecedented 12,000 young people descended on Washington, DC for Power Shift 2009, representing every state and Congressional District in the country. The summit gained notice from prominent political figures like EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson and Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar, as well as leaders in the environmental movement such as John Podesta, Major Carter, Jerome Ringo and Van Jones. Over 6,000 young people went to Capitol Hill for the largest citizen lobby day in history, and thousands more participated in the Capitol Climate Action, a successful demonstration to shut down the Capitol's coal-fired power plant.


In the months following Power Shift 2009, the Coalition, its partners and the broader movement continued to keep the pressure on for a clean and just energy economy. In the run up to the Copenhagen international climate negotiations, young people hosted over a dozen regional Power Shift Summits and Rallies across the country, and the Coalition launched the "It's Game Time, Obama! Campaign" to win President Obama's commitment to attend the UN Summit and show real leadership. This resulted in the White House Youth Clean Energy Forum, where young leaders from across the country interfaced directly with President Obama's climate and energy team. During the negotiations in Copenhagen, the Coalition organized a Rapid Response team, linking US youth on the ground in Copenhagen to youth networks in the US, calling for US leadership and responsibility on climate change.


In 2010 and beyond, the Coalition is working to define our decade with a Millennial vision of a clean energy economy that can solve our economic and environmental crises. Hundreds of local groups are working to move their communities beyond dirty energy with clean energy solutions, and we are poised to mobilize around these local solutions in the 2010 elections.