Young Adults for Pasadena 100

To the Pasadena City Council,

As a collective of young adults living and/or working in Pasadena, we urge you to implement policies that will counter the looming climate emergency. Climate change is undeniable and the impacts on our lives are only increasing in severity. A global increase of 1.5°C above the preindustrial average temperature risks irreversible, catastrophic harm to human health [1], and the difference between 2C compared to 1.5C is substantially more poverty, extreme heat, sea level rise, habitat loss, and drought. [2] Furthermore, climate change will “increasingly disrupt and damage critical infrastructure and property, labor productivity, and the vitality of our communities.” [3] These effects harm us all, with lower-income individuals bearing the heaviest burden. We need immediate action to minimize the impact on our future. 

Beyond these physical effects of climate change, young people are suffering psychological distress. In a study of 10,000 youth ages 16-25 in 10 countries, nearly 60% of participants are “very worried” or “extremely worried” about the effects of climate change on their futures, and 65% feel that governments are failing young people. [4] These feelings have negative impacts on young people’s daily life and mental health. This holds true for Pasadena’s young people.

As we decide where to build our lives and futures, the state of the climate crisis is at the top of our minds. When choosing a permanent home for ourselves and our families, our physical and mental health, as well as the economic stability and habitability of our location, will take high priority. We want to be able to build a life in Pasadena and continue to contribute to the economy and vitality of the city.

We desperately need policy prioritizing a rapid transition away from fossil fuels and toward renewable energy. The single most effective action Pasadena can take to fight the climate catastrophe is to stop buying and burning fossil fuels. We support the Pasadena 100 effort to have Pasadena Water and Power (PWP) commit to achieving 100% carbon-free power generation by 2030. We also support policies to electrify all buildings in Pasadena.

The signatories below ask that the City Council implement policies that promote and enforce the rapid transition to renewables in a cost-effective and reliable way, to help ensure a healthy, livable future. We call on the Council to take the climate crisis seriously and show leadership commensurate with the threat. Doing so will make the city a more desirable place to live for young people who are frightened about the effects of climate change on their future. 

[1] Medical Journals Call Climate Change the ‘Greatest Threat to Global Public Health’ (NY Times, Nov. 4, 2021)

[2] Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5 C, (Fifth Assessment Report from Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, 2018)

[3] Fourth National Climate Assessment, 2018.

[4] Marks, Elizabeth, et al. “Young people’s voices on climate anxiety, government betrayal and moral injury: A global phenomenon.” (Nature, Sept, 22, 2021).

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