WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — The House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis held its first-ever hearing on Thursday.
The bi-partisan committee took an unusual approach by calling on young leaders from around the country to testify, instead of hearing from typical experts in the field.
18-year-old Aji Piper is suing the U.S. government over climate change.
“Governments have a responsibility to protect natural resources for their citizens,” Piper said. The Seattle teen was one of several young leaders who testified about the climate crisis.
Chris Suggs from North Carolina told lawmakers about the devastating impact from hurricanes in his state.
“And hopefully advocate for some meaningful change,” Suggs said.
Republican lawmakers like Georgia’s Buddy Carter wonder how much impact humans have on climate change. Still, Carter says he wants to work on a fix.
“To make sure that future generations can enjoy the environment,” Carter said.
Oregon Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici says it was important to hear from young people.
“Climate change is going to affect them, it’s their future that’s at stake,” she said.
Young people told lawmakers that while taking action on climate change may be expensive, it may cost more in the end not to take action.
Lindsey Cooper works with the Louisiana Governor’s Office of Coastal Activities. She said the fact that the hearing was held at all gives her hope.
“Our time is now and in Louisiana we’re not waiting for some big federal policy to come in and save us,” Cooper said.