UYES is a youth-led organization that empowers youth in Utah to mobilize around climate and environmental issues around the state through legislation, education and action.
Our mission is to connect students to environmental advocacy by cultivating reciprocal relationships between Utah’s youth, environmental organizations, and community leaders. We utilize systems-based thinking to pragmatically address local environmental issues and normalize political participation. Youth Environmental Solutions is a non-partisan network.
UYES was founded in 2017 with the effort to educate the Utah State Legislature about Climate Change. In 2018 the Students were instrumental in passing the Resolution on Economic and Environmental Stewardship through the State Legislature, the first official recognition of climate change from the State of Utah. Efforts continue across the state to decouple the education system from fossil fuel revenues, and educate and engage the public.
In 2019, students from Salt Lake City School District (SLCSD) worked with partners to support moving the school district to a commitment to a clean energy transition. Their hard work paid off— in June, 2020 the Salt Lake City Board of Education passed a resolution committing the district to transition to 100 percent clean electricity by 2030 and a transition off-gas by 2040. Now, in 2021, while continuing to support the SLCSD implementation, a student coalition in Granite, Davis, Park City, and Canyons School District is working to see similar results. Learn more about their efforts here.
Our teams are also engaged in developing a youth climate justice curriculum. While the specifications of this training program will be determined collaboratively, they will likely include: stories, teachings, and lived experience of communities at the frontlines of environmental injustice; workshops that situate environmental injustices in the broader context of systemic oppressions, including racism, colonialism, economic exploitation, and heteropatriarchy; lessons and praxis in theories of change, organizing strategies, and solution- oriented tactics; and engagement in a climate justice project in participants’ local community to practice and implement their knowledge and skills.