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New Hampshire Youth Take A Stand Against Climate Change

Teen climate activists hold their signs opposing the Merrimack Generating Station, a coal burning plant in Bow.
Julia Furukawa/NHPR
Teen climate activists hold their signs opposing the Merrimack Generating Station, a coal burning plant in Bow.

A group of teen climate activists gathered in Concord Friday to take a stand against climate change, as part of an international movement of youth climate strikes. Packed into a building on Main Street on a rainy afternoon, the young strikers carried signs opposing the Merrimack Generation Station in Bow, the largest coal burning plant in New England.

Katie Lessard is a senior at Bow High School and, at 17 years old, organized the strike. She said climate change particularly affects her generation, as they'll have to live with the lasting impacts of it. But, still minors, they can't take their voices to the ballot box.

"It's really important for us to be able to have a voice on this issue in particular, especially because I'm not able to vote, and a lot of the people who showed up with me today are also not able to vote," Lessard said. "So, going to protests and taking actions like this are really the only way we have to make our voice heard in the community and have legislators pay attention to us and take us seriously."

For Lessard and the other activists, real action on climate change starts at the State House.

"It's really important to make sure that legislation is written now, so that way the effects of climate change don't have devastating effects on the future of my generation and future generations," Lessard said.

Other climate strikes were planned Friday in Jaffrey, North Conway, Portsmouth, Durham and Nashua.

Julia Furukawa joined the NHPR team in 2021 as a fellow producing All Things Considered after working as a reporter and editor for The Paris News in Texas and a freelancer for KNKX Public Radio in Seattle.

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