Amelia Farrell, a senior at Annapolis High School, is no stranger to environmental advocacy.
As a longtime volunteer and student leader with the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, she has seen how climate change has affected the Bay, and how legislation can make positive change.
So it’s no surprise that Amelia decided to organize a Youth Climate Strike event in Annapolis in the March of 2019. According to her Op-ed in the Capital Gazette just before the event, “I should be worrying about homework, scholarships, and college applications. But instead, I’m worrying about climate change: The impending global threat weighing on the youth of the world.”
While organizing the march, which included a demonstration on the grounds of the State House and a march to City Dock, Amelia tackled getting permits from the City of Annapolis and the Capital Police, recruited a slate of speakers, handled press requests, obtained insurance, and ran a very successful rally on the day of the event. Her goal in organizing the Climate Strike in Annapolis was to encourage legislators to support the Clean Energy Jobs Act, which requires Maryland to source half the state’s energy from renewable sources by 2030. She encouraged legislators by saying, “Your vote for this bill will express to the millions of Marylanders how much you care about their futures. Maryland should want to lead the nation in protecting the environment.”
Thanks in part to the Climate Strike march, the Maryland General Assembly gave final approval to the Clean Energy Jobs Act several weeks later. According to the Chesapeake Climate Action Network, “the legislation will transform the way electricity is used in the state, making roof-top solar power and utility-scale solar common forms of generation in the coming years. It will also further kickstart the state’s offshore wind industry . . . and increases the state’s renewable electricity standard to 50% of the total grid by 2030.”
“I want to make it clear to the legislators, adults, youth, and anyone living in Maryland,” Amelia wrote, “that their actions can make a difference in the world.”
In addition to her environmental advocacy efforts, Amelia is the president of the Key Club, Secretary of the National Honor Society, Secretary of the French Honor Society, a published critic for the Cappies (regional high school drama organization), Technical Director for AHS Drama productions, and a 3-year varsity starter and co-captain of the AHS Field Hockey team.