8 AAPI Climate Voices to Follow

Miya Yoshitani and Asian Pacific Environmental Network marching for climate justice in San Francisco, CA.
  • May 1, 2023

In celebration of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month during May, we’re highlighting just a few of the amazing Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) climate activists fighting for our planet and against climate change. Here are 8 inspiring climate voices to follow:

1. Hiroko Tabuchi is an investigative climate and environment reporter for the New York Times and a native of Kobe, Japan. Her recent work covers topics such as gas stoves, home composting, countries’ emissions goals, and the toxic chemicals from the Ohio train derailment. She has also reported on the oil industry's covert campaign to rewrite American car emissions rules and how fashion companies rebranded plastic as good for the planet. Follow her on Twitter @HirokoTabuchi

2. Kathy Jetn̄il-Kijiner is a climate activist and poet from the Marshall Islands. She is the co-founder and director of Jo-Jikum, an organization that supports Marshallese youth in taking action on climate change and other environmental issues. She was named one of Vogue’s 13 Climate Warriors and the 2017 Impact Hero of the Year by Earth Company. In 2014, she performed an inspirational poem at the opening ceremony of the United Nations Climate Summit. Follow her on Twitter @kathykijiner or Instagram @kathyjkijiner, and watch videos of her poems on her website kathyjetnilkijiner.com

Kathy Jetn̄il-Kijiner

3. Kevin Patel is a 22-year-old climate activist and a first generation Indian American. Growing up in Los Angeles, he first got involved in the climate movement when he experienced heart palpitations and researched the dangers of air pollution in his city. He is the founder and executive director of OneUpAction, an intersectional, youth-led organization that provides resources to help youth climate advocates fight climate change in their local communities. His work as an activist has been featured in publications such as Vox, the Los Angeles Times, and Men’s Health Magazine. Follow him on Twitter @imkevinjpatel or Instagram @imkevinjpatel

4. Kristy Drutman is a Filipina American climate activist. She is the founder of Brown Girl Green, an online platform and podcast through which she seeks to educate people on topics related to environmental justice and sustainability. She is also the founder of @greenjobsboard, an Instagram account that highlights job openings in sustainability, clean energy, and other climate-related roles. Follow Kristy on Instagram @browngirl_green or Twitter @browngirl_green.

5. Jayathma Wickramanayake is the United Nations Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth. In this role, to which she was appointed in 2017, she leads the UN's youth engagement and advocacy efforts on sustainable development and economic empowerment. She is originally from Sri Lanka and has been named to the Time 100 Next and Forbes 30 Under 30 lists. Follow her on Twitter @jayathmadw

6. Miya Yoshitani is the former executive director and current senior strategist at the Asian Pacific Environmental Network (APEN), an organization fighting for environmental, social, and economic justice, particularly for Asian immigrant and refugee communities. She has a long history in the environmental justice movement and currently serves on the White House Environmental Justice Advisory Council (WHEJAC). She was a participant in the First National People of Color Environmental Leadership Summit in 1991, where she helped draft the 17 Principles of Environmental Justice, a defining document for the environmental justice movement. Follow her on Twitter @miya_yosh

7. Nadia Nazar is a 20-year-old Indian-American artist and climate activist who uses art in the fight against climate change. She is a co-founder of Zero Hour, a youth-led international climate justice organization. She was one of the lead organizers for the 2019 Climate Strikes in Washington DC. She has testified in Congress and spoken before the United Nations about climate change, and she was named one of People Magazine’s Top 25 Women Changing the World in 2018. Follow her on Twitter @nadiabaltimore

8. Varshini Prakash is the co-founder and executive director of Sunrise Movement, a prominent climate organization that mobilizes young people to advocate for climate action. She was included on the 2019 Time 100 list, nominated by Governor Jay Inslee, and the 2018 Grist 50 list. Her work has been featured in the Washington Post, New Yorker, Forbes, Vox, Vice, TeenVogue, BBC, and more. Follow her on Twitter @VarshPrakash.

At CleanChoice Energy, we envision a world free of catastrophic climate change for all. We are grateful for these 8 climate leaders and so many others who are working alongside us to make that vision a reality.

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