Championing Local Solutions for Birds in a Changing World

Audubon is engaging the younger generation to combat climate change

For decades, climate change has been one of our greatest conservation challenges and is the leading threat to birds and other wildlife. Audubon’s 2014 Climate Change Report found that nearly half of North America’s birds are threatened by rising temperatures. That’s a call to action— and we’re mobilizing people to advocate for local, state, and federal climate solutions.

In 2017, Audubon announced a strategic partnership with iMatter – a youth climate action organization – to empower the next generation of advocates to advance local clean energy policy. In order to protect the birds we love, we must reduce greenhouse gas emissions at the speed and scale needed using responsibly sited renewable energy projects. With our vast wingspan of bipartisan members, Audubon is activating our network to mentor and support youth leaders in their pursuit for positive changes that are wins for the planet, birds, and people alike.

Through collaboration with the local Audubon chapter, Northern New York Audubon, trained Audubon Ambassadors – volunteers equipped to be the messenger and advocate for climate change solutions – were successful in delivering a Climate Inheritance Resolution to the city of Plattsburgh, NY this past spring. This effort was led by Alexandria Elliot, an Environmental Studies student at SUNY Plattsburgh, who presented the resolution to the City’s Common Council on May 10th. 

“As the transition generation, we are the first to experience the major effect of climate change and the last with the ability to do anything about it,” said Alexandria. She called upon Plattsburgh to “significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions to levels that would protect our community's children, grandchildren, birds, and the places where we work, live, and play – places that we all share – from the risk of climate destruction."

This proposal, proudly endorsed by Audubon, highlighted the potential risk to over 100 bird species in New York State including local favorites like Ospreys, Baltimore Orioles, and Caspian Terns. The resolution also called for Plattsburgh to develop an immediate climate action plan that encouraged the inclusion of young people in their decision making process to reach set goals by 2040. Plattsburgh Mayor Colin Read is a proponent of this resolution and overall supporter of Audubon’s advocacy work.

The hope is to increase youth involvement in enacting local resolutions to combat climate change so that we can continue to protect birds at-risk in New York for generations to come. If you would like to find out more about supporting youth-led climate campaigns in your area, or about becoming an Audubon Ambassador, please contact our office at