Top 21 Climate Voices to Follow in 2021
Jan 1, 2021
All around the world, millions of people are taking action to help protect our planet and reduce the impacts of climate change. There are so many great voices contributing to the climate conversation, but some bring unique and inspiring perspectives that are particularly worthy of our attention. Here are some of our favorite climate advocates:
1. Alexandria Villaseñor is a 15-year-old climate activist. She is the founder of the organization Earth Uprising, which educates and mobilizes young climate activists. Before COVID-19, Alexandria skipped school and protested outside the United Nations headquarters in New York City every Friday for more than a year. Follow her on Twitter @AlexandriaV2005 or Instagram @alexandriav2005.
2. Autumn Peltier is a 16-year-old Canadian clean water activist from Wiikwemkoong Unceded Territory in Ontario. Autumn has advocated for the preservation of drinking water for Indigenous peoples since she was 8 years old. She has spoken before the United Nations General Assembly, the World Economic Forum, and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau about the importance of clean water. Follow her on Instagram @autumn.peltier or Twitter @StephaniePelti3.
3. Dr. Ayana Johnson is a PhD marine biologist, policy expert, and conservation strategist. She is the founder of Ocean Collectiv, an organization that advances ocean sustainability with a focus on social justice, and Urban Ocean Lab, a think tank that focuses on climate policy and the future of coastal cities. Dr. Johnson works to highlight the connection between the ocean, climate change, and climate justice. Follow her on Twitter @ayanaeliza or Instagram @ayanaeliza.
4. Bill McKibben is an environmentalist, author, and educator. He is the founder of the environmental organization 350.org. He was the recipient of the Sierra Club's highest honor, the John Muir Award, in 2011. Follow him on Twitter @billmckibben.
5. Christiana Figueres is the former executive secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). She was one of chief architects of the Paris Climate Agreement and played a major role in its adoption. She co-founded Global Optimism, which promotes “stubborn optimism” as the way to tackle the climate crisis. Follow her on Twitter @CFigueres or Instagram @cfigueres.
6. Dallas Goldtooth is a climate activist and organizer of Mdewakanton Dakota & Dińe heritage. He leads the Keep It In The Ground campaign for the Indigenous Environmental Network—the organization led by his father, globally recognized activist Tom B.K Goldtooth. Dallas was featured in the Grist 50 in 2017 and co-founded The 1491s, an Indigenous comedy group. Follow him on Twitter @dallasgoldtooth or Instagram @dallasgoldtooth.
7. Elizabeth Yeampierre is a Brooklyn-based climate justice leader. She is the co-chair of the Climate Justice Alliance and the Executive Director of UPROSE, a Latino community-based organization in Brooklyn that promotes sustainability and climate justice. She was the first Latina chair appointed to the EPA’s National Environmental Justice Advisory Council and is a member of Mayor de Blasio's Sustainability Advisory Board. Follow her on Twitter @yeampierre.
8. Isaias Hernandez is an environmentalist and a self-proclaimed eco-educator. Through social platforms such as Instagram, Twitter, TikTok, and even Pinterest, Isaias shares accessible environmental education content under his brand Queer Brown Vegan. Follow him on Instagram @QueerBrownVegan or Twitter @QueerBrownVegan.
9. Isra Hirsi is the 17-year-old daughter of Congresswoman Ilhan Omar and a prominent climate activist. She is the co-founder and co-executive director of the U.S. Youth Climate Strike, the U.S. branch of Greta Thunberg’s climate movement. Isra also advocates for more minority representation in the climate movement. Follow her on Twitter @israhirsi or Instagram @israhirsi.
10. Jamie Margolin is the 19-year-old founder of the youth climate organization Zero Hour, an intersectional movement of youth climate activists. As the Latina, Jewish daughter of a Colombian immigrant, she gave a TED talk about how climate change can be solved by addressing social injustices. Follow her on Twitter @Jamie_Margolin or Instagram @jamie_s_margolin.
11. Dr. Jonathan Foley is a climate scientist and writer who focuses on finding solutions to the climate crisis. He is the Executive Director of the climate research organization Project Drawdown and gave a TED Talk called “The other inconvenient truth” about the importance of changing our agricultural practices to feed the entire global population in a sustainable way. Follow him on Twitter @GlobalEcoGuy.
12. Dr. Katharine Hayhoe is an atmospheric climate scientist and professor. She is an expert on how to discuss climate change and gave a TED Talk called “The most important thing you can do to fight climate change: talk about it.” She produces a YouTube series called Global Weirding, which uses colorful cartoons to teach children about climate change and the environment. Follow her on Twitter @KHayhoe.
13. Dr. Katharine Wilkinson is an author, public speaker, strategist, podcaster, and educator on climate science. Her latest project is All We Can Save—a collection of essays from women in the climate movement, co-edited by Dr. Ayana Johnson. Follow her on Twitter @DrKWilkinson.
14. Leah Namugerwa is a 16-year-old climate activist from Uganda who has become a prominent climate voice in her country. She participates in Fridays For Future school strikes every Friday and started a petition to President Museveni for Uganda to ban plastic bags. Follow her on Twitter @NamugerwaLeah or Instagram @namugerwaleah.
15. Mari Copeny, also known as “Little Miss Flint,” is a 13-year-old from Flint, Michigan. In 2016, she wrote a letter to President Obama about Flint’s water crisis, which inspired him to travel to Flint and gave the city national attention. She now uses her platform to bring awareness to the Flint water crisis, as well as raise donations for water bottles, books, toys, and other resources for Flint residents. Follow her on Twitter @LittleMissFlint or Instagram @littlemissflint.
16. Mary Annaïse Heglar is a climate justice writer and currently serves as the Writer in Residence at Columbia University’s Earth Institute and the Director of Publications at Natural Resources Defense Council. She has a podcast with environmental journalist Amy Westervelt called Hot Take, in which they look at media coverage of climate change with an intersectional lens. Follow her on Twitter @MaryHeglar and Medium @MaryHeglar.
17. Dr. Robert Bullard is known as the father of environmental justice. He has written 18 books on environmental racism and other climate topics. He was named one of 22 climate trailblazers and one of the 100 most influential people in climate policy. Follow him on Twitter @DrBobBullard.
18. Tara Houska is an Indigenous land and water advocate from the Couchiching First Nation. Tara participated in the Dakota Access Pipeline protests and gave a TEDTalk called “The Standing Rock resistance and our fight for Indigenous rights.” She co-founded the nonprofit Not Your Mascots and was featured in the Grist 50 in 2017. Follow her on Twitter @zhaabowekwe.
19. Vanessa Nakate is a 24-year-old climate justice activist from Uganda. In January 2019, she began a strike outside the Ugandan parliament to protest climate inaction—and was the sole protester for several months. She also founded the climate action groups Youth for Future Africa, Rise Up Movement, and 1 Million Activist Stories. Vanessa has spoken at COP25 in Spain and the World Economic Forum in Davos. Follow her on Twitter @vanessa_vash or Instagram @vanessanakate1.
20. Varshini Prakash is co-founder and executive director of Sunrise Movement, an organization that mobilizes young people to advocate for climate action. Varshini and Sunrise Movement gained national attention during their 2018 sit-ins outside of House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi’s office, when Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez joined their protest. Follow her on Twitter @VarshPrakash.
21. Xiye Bastida is an 18-year-old climate activist. She and her family moved to New York City after her Indigenous community in Mexico was ravaged by heavy rainfall and flooding. As a lead organizer of the Fridays For Future youth climate strikes, Xiye fights to keep Indigenous peoples at the forefront of the climate conversation. Follow her on Twitter @xiyebastida or Instagram @xiyebeara.
At CleanChoice Energy, we envision a world free of catastrophic climate change for all. We are grateful for these climate leaders and so many others who are working alongside us to make that vision a reality.
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