LEXINGTON, Ky.—Transylvania University senior Marcie Smith will be a featured keynote speaker at Power Shift ’09 in Washington, D.C., Feb. 27- March 2. Smith and 47 other Transy students join 10,000 student leaders from around the world to lobby for the President and Congress to pass a bold climate and energy policy that prioritizes renewable energy, green job creation and an aggressive cap on carbon emissions.
“The youth of America turned out in record numbers to elect a new President and Congress,” Smith said. “We’re here now to take our rightful seat at the political table. We are at a critical point in our nation’s history. We have the chance to work with our new leadership to build a new green economy and address our climate crisis with the passage of bold climate and energy policies.”
Smith is being featured as a keynote speaker because of her expertise on Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation (REDD) and her work with the Kentucky Student Environmental Coalition. Last December Marcie attended the UN Climate Negotiations in Poznań, Poland. In Poland, Marcie served as a policy expert and worked closely with the Congolese government delegation on deforestation and indigenous rights issues. Smith will also be speaking about these issues in great detail not only during her keynote, but during a workshop titled, “The Relationship between the Global South and the Global North in Climate Negotiations.”
As a sophomore, Smith, who is studying International Affairs, French and Environmental Studies, founded Transylvania’s environmental action group TERRA, which has led numerous awareness and action campaigns on climate change, coal consumption and environmental justice; has lobbied at the state and federal levels for bold legislation on climate change and mountaintop removal; and succeeded in making Transylvania a signatory onto the President’s Climate Commitment. At Power Shift ‘07, Smith helped found and is now an active leader in the Kentucky Student Environmental Coalition (KSEC). In 2007, she interned for Congressman Ben Chandler in the U.S. House of Representatives, focusing on environmental and foreign affairs issues. She spent the spring 2008 semester in Madagascar studying ecology, local environmental law and mining code modernization. In the summer of 2008, she joined the Institute for Environmental Security in The Hague, Netherlands, where she continued to research Madagascar’s expanding extractive sector and its impact on environmental security.
About Power Shift ’09
Energy Action, a youth-led coalition of fifty national organizations that convened the conference, expects 10,000 young people to attend the three-day event, making the conference the largest global warming action in history. Participants have the opportunity to choose from 150 expert panels and workshops, covering a wide array of climate-related topics such as international climate policy, school endowment policies, anti-oppression strategies, and economic policy for green jobs. Keynotes will feature names like NASA scientist James Hansen, Green Jobs Guru Van Jones and student Marcie Smith. On Monday March 2, young people will head to Capitol Hill to meet with their elected officials and attend a rally led by Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi. For more information visit: www.powershift09.org