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Climate Education Bill: Advocacy in Action

In 2022, a groundbreaking $2.1 million Climate Education Bill was passed in the Maine legislature. This huge policy win, resulting in funding for climate education professional development for public school teachers, emerged from a youth- and educator-led, grassroots effort to make change in Maine public schools, and increase access to climate education for all Maine students. It is a bill that was dreamed up by Maine youth and teachers, supported by community organizations across the state, and supported by strong legislative champions. Members of NBEC’s Climate Education Advocacy and Stories for Change working groups have collaborated on bringing forward stories of people involved in the LD 1902, Climate Education Bill campaign.

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Ania Wright

Ania Wright is a member of the NBEC Climate Education Advocacy working group, and was part of the creation and advocacy of LD 1902. She is also Legislative and Political Strategist at the Sierra Club Maine.

Here is her story.

From idea to action through coalition-building

This interview has been edited for length and clarity.


What is your connection to the Climate Education Bill? 

When I was in high school, the only Climate Education I received was a small unit in biology class. Then moving into college and studying climate change and environmental law, I learned how my previous education left me unprepared for how climate change would impact me and my generation's lives. I saw the Climate Education Bill (LD 1902) as a critical measure to ensure that other young people are given as much information as possible about the reality of the world they are inheriting. 

What was it like to be part of the Climate Education Bill process, from start to finish?

The Climate Education Bill process was one of the most intentional and rewarding experiences I have had in my career. The coalition we built was centered around the needs and voices of educators and young people, and that led to our success. 

Why is this bill important to you? Why do you think climate education is important in public schools?

This bill is important to me as a young person, previous student, advocate, and now as a young adult. If I had adequate climate education in my schooling, I believe I and my peers would be better prepared for our futures. 

My motivation was to help provide a different reality for the future generations of our state. 


What feelings did you have being part of this campaign?

Encouragement, hope, and community! 

Any memorable moments of this campaign?

We held an in-person planning meeting in the summer ahead of the session. During our meeting, we created a giant poster of our plan, citing potential allies and adversaries. That moment was memorable to me as it felt like the beginning of something big, and something that led to our success in the future. 


Another memorable moment was a meeting we had with members of the appropriations committee, the committee that eventually decided to fund LD 1902, and youth members of the climate education working group. During the meeting, youth were able to successfully state their case, and advocate directly for their futures. I believe this meeting was critical to the ultimate funding of LD 1902. 

Give us your vision for how these grants can help initiate change in our state.

It is my hope that these grants will help support teachers from all over the state to feel better prepared to teach climate change. 

What do you hope happens next?

I hope this legislation inspires bills in other states, and I hope it continues to grow in Maine! 

​Email interview, July 2023.

Learn more

Learn more about the Climate Education Bill, how teachers can apply for funds from LD 1902, and other stories of Advocacy in Action.

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