Tampa Youth and Climate Activists Hold Code Red For Humanity Climate Day of Action

September 24, 2021

Taking Place Across the State and Nation, Climate Strikers Call on Government Officials to Recognize and React to the Climate Crisis and IPCC Report

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 24, 2021

Last month, the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), released their sixth assessment report, which warned that climate change is now a “code red for humanity.” This report calls for acting with an urgency never seen before, and climate groups in Tampa Bay have responded to this call.

On September 24th, Sunrise PHS, Food and Water Action, and other members of the Tampa Bay Climate Alliance co-hosted a climate day of action strike outside Tampa City Hall. Other represented groups included FIREE, ACE, the Tampa PSL, and the CLEO Institute. Strikers focused on local, state, and federal governmental officials, demanding that they take necessary action in response to the warnings of the IPCC report on climate change. Activist demands include encouraging the city to declare a climate emergency, creating plans to divest from fossil fuel usage and subsidization, setting plans to reach net-zero emissions, and employing climate justice in the fight against climate change. 

The Tampa march is part of the annual national Climate Day of Action in alignment with Fridays for Future (affiliated with teen climate activist Greta Thunberg). The strike is a chance to demand change before it is too late.

“Climate change is not an issue of the future. It is happening here and now,” said Caitlin Hagney, Sunrise PHS Co-Founder and Sunrise Movement Youth Organizer. “Whenever adults applaud me for taking action at such a young age I explain to them I don’t have a choice. If we don’t fight now, and don’t enact the legislation we need to cut emissions drastically within the next few years at most, global warming will be what collapses my generation, and my future.”

Tampa’s strike was one of four events across Florida with other events in Miami, Tallahassee and Orlando, all working in a unified effort to combat climate change. Attendees across Florida wore red to call attention to the IPCC report’s “code red” designation.

“As youth, we have the largest stake and we can no longer be silent,” said Anisa Nanavati, an Action for Climate Emergency organizer. “In Tampa, we are seeing the effects of climate change firsthand and the future of our city is at stake. I want a world where my four younger siblings and future generations can enjoy the place that we call home.”

“To learn that our government officials are putting our lives at stake for the sake of profit is disheartening to learn as a teen,” said Julia Perrigault-Eng, Sunrise PHS Co-Founder. “As youth, our voices aren’t represented in the legislation that decides the future of our planet. The time to act is now because the effects of climate change are not slowing down anytime soon. Our politicians must listen to the voices of Generation Z and declare a Climate Emergency immediately.”

The youth-led day of climate action included representation from people of all ages, nationalities, genders, and sexualities coming together to advocate for a better tomorrow. 

“Tampa Bay climate activists of all ages are proud to stand with the youth as we demand a better future for our communities,” said Brooke Errett, Florida Senior Organizer with Food & Water Action. “We call on our Representative Castor to fight for Tampa Bay and stand up to fossil fuel subsidies in the Build Back Better Act. A better future is one that does not pay fossil fuel companies to pollute.”

Photos of the event will be available here.

Contact: Phoebe Galt, Food & Water Action, 207-400-1275, [email protected]