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When West Philadelphia resident Erica Brown heard about the launch of the American Climate Corps this week, she sat down on a bench and cried.
“We did it,” the 20-year-old climate activist said. “It was a very surreal moment.”
The Biden administration announced Wednesday it is using executive action to create a job program called the American Climate Corps that will provide work for 20,000 young people in clean energy, conservation, and climate resilience in its first year.
It’s the type of program the youth-led activist group Sunrise Movement, of which Brown is Philly chapter coordinator, has been calling for for years. Brown has participated in numerous demonstrations in recent years pushing the Biden Administration and lawmakers on climate.
“It’s like, OK, we’ve got to choose one thing that we can rally around, and we chose the civilian Climate Corps, which would create millions of good jobs for young people that are directly involved with ending the climate crisis — you know, retrofitting buildings, recreating natural habitats,” Brown said.