YouCAN (Youth Climate Action Now) is a program developed by Our Children's Trust that trains and supports youth, their families, and other supporters to engage in civic participation with local government. YouCAN youth advocate for lasting legal protection for the atmosphere, oceans, and the Earth's natural resources in the form of binding greenhouse gas emission reduction targets and climate recovery planning in line with the best available science. Youth participate directly in local government decision-making and petition City Councils for adoption of locally-tailored climate recovery laws, testify in public meetings of the City Council, and advocate at work sessions with local government leaders.

YouCAN IS: an aid for communities wishing to draft, propose, and adopt legally binding climate recovery ordinances based on the best available science. Every community is unique; no two YouCAN campaigns will be the same. But all YouCAN chapters have the same goal: to protect the fundamental rights of youth and future generations to a stable climate and healthy atmosphere. To reach this goal, every YouCAN chapter must follow two simple guiding principles:

  1. YouCAN is a youth-led campaign.
  2. YouCAN only advocates for legally-binding, science-based climate recovery ordinances. 

YouCAN IS NOT: a platform for adults to involve youth in pushing for “politically feasible” municipal action for action’s sake. Adopting insufficient climate goals does not benefit youth and future generations, it hurts them.

The YouCAN program began in Eugene, Oregon, where YouCAN youth successfully worked with the Eugene City Council in 2014 to pass the first ever climate recovery ordinance in the U.S. that incorporates a scientific prescription for viable climate recovery.

The YouCAN program is growing! Our Children's Trust is now partnering with interested youth, schools, and community organizations who wish to follow in Eugene's footsteps and start their own YouCAN chapter. Click the button below to learn how YOU can join the movement by starting a YouCAN Chapter in your community!