PBS and NPR for Southwest Florida
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Naples Youth Rally For Climate Change Legislation

Andrea Perdomo, WGCU

About two dozen people gathered in front of Naples City Hall on Friday to call on local lawmakers to commit to climate change legislation. 

Friday's demonstration was intended to be the first of many according to 18-year-old Carolina Hernandez,  the lead organizer of Naples Youth Protest.

Hernandez said she is motivated to demand lawmakers take action to prevent further damage to the environment. She said she's working for future generations. 

“I want to tell them that I actually did my best to give them the best life," Hernandez said.  “Not that I stayed there...looking at how everything was getting destroyed and doing nothing, but that I actually worked on it—and if we finally get the planet to heal—then they’re going to be proud of me.”

The Naples Youth Protests are modeled after the international movement Fridays For Future.

Fridays For Future has a presence in 27 countries and originated in Sweden last year when a 15-year-old girl sat in front of the Swedish Parliament to protest against the lack of action being done to combat climate issues.

Environmentalist Sulemi Hernandez—no relation to Carolina—helped organize the Naples protest. She said she enjoys the local youth's passion for the environment.

"They’re ready to engage.  They’re ready to take action. They’re ready to demand climate solutions," Hernandez said. 

The Naples Youth protesters want the city of Naples to place a tax on carbon emissions, create eco-friendly public transportation and to declare a climate emergency. The organizers said they will continue to gather at Naples City Hall, every Friday at 3 p.m. until their demands are met.

Andrea Perdomo is a reporter for WGCU News. She started her career in public radio as an intern for the Miami-based NPR station, WLRN. Andrea graduated from Florida International University, where she was a contributing writer for the student-run newspaper, The Panther Press, and was also a member of the university's Society of Professional Journalists chapter.