Tag Archives: climate change

Ollie Perrault: A Hero Among Us

During the Celtics game on November 30, 15-year-old Mass Audubon Youth Climate Leader, Ollie Perrault, was given the Heroes Among Us Award. For 25 years, the Boston Celtics have recognized people across the Commonwealth who are making a difference in our communities. This year, Governor-elect Maura Healey presented Perrault as the recipient of this prestigious award. 

Ollie Perrault stands in the middle of a basketball court with a blue shirt and patterned jeans while waving and smiling at the camera. Standing next to her is Governor-elect Maura Healey smiling in a black blazer and black pants.
Ollie Perrault with Governor-elect Maura Healey © Boston Celtics

As an added bonus, Perrault also had the opportunity to meet Prince William and Princess Kate, who were sitting courtside as part of their brief trip to Boston for The Earthshot Prize 2022. “I told them how incredibly inspired I was to see them taking up the climate cause by dedicating themselves to policy change and supporting climate mitigation efforts by implementing innovative, sustainable solutions,” said Perrault. “I also wanted to thank them for recognizing the power and importance of youth voices in the climate conversation and taking some time to highlight some of the incredible student-led organizations I am a part of.” 

Her interaction with the couple has sparked numerous local, regional, and even international news

Prince William extends his hand to shake Ollie Perrault's hand. Princess Kate stands next to her husband smiling at Ollie. Cameramen surround them to take a photo of the interaction.
Prince William and Princess Kate meeting Ollie Perrault © Jim Davis/The Boston Globe

Perrault became a Youth Climate Leader when she was 11 years old. The Youth Climate Leadership Program provides young adults and youth the support and tools they need to advocate for climate action in their communities. “I feel so grateful to have the opportunity to spread the word about my work and to highlight the issues and solutions that young people are prioritizing today,” she said. 

Perrault’s passion and dedication to making a difference is inspirational for people of all ages, and she is the perfect example of a Heroes Among Us. In the days following the ceremony, Perrault reflected, “I have been feeling incredibly hopeful to know just how many people out there support my work and I am ready to take this recognition back to Youth Climate Action Now and the Youth Climate Leadership Program to inspire more youth leaders to join the climate conversation and continue educating, empowering, and advocating for our right to a livable future.”   

To learn more about Perrault and what drove her to become a Youth Climate Leader, read what she wrote for our In Your Words column in March of 2022. 

Kevin Izzo Selfie

December Climate Champions Update

Climate Champions is a Mass Audubon grassroots volunteer program to advocate for policies that advance nature-based climate solutions. With training from policy experts, Climate Champions advocate for local and state policies that help achieve the state’s goal to reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 and reverse negative health impacts of climate change for Environmental Justice communities.    

Meet a Champion, find out how it’s going and what’s next, and learn how you can get involved.

Climate Champion Spotlight: Kevin Izzo 

“As I became more climate aware, I realized that reducing my individual impact wasn’t enough and that I needed to do more. Not having previous advocacy experience I wasn’t sure where to start. Climate Champions has provided me a way to educate myself and become more active. It is a thoughtful group with wide-ranging concerns. Since joining, I’ve: 

  • Researched local adoption of three climate initiatives, 
  • Written letters to influence building code design, 
  • Phone banked with the Environmental Voter Project, 
  • Participated in a Massachusetts solar siting survey, 
  • Helped to recruit new members, and 
  • Weighed in on legislative priorities.” 

How It’s Going 

Climate Champions celebrated the passage of a major Economic Development bill that included $540 million to support nature-based climate solutions, clean energy, and climate resiliency. Climate Champions pushed for these investments at our Beacon Hill Lobby Day in June, and the House and Senate responded. We hope this success inspires you as it has us!   

Champions were also briefed on the Community Preservation Act (CPA) that helps to preserve open space and cheered the passage of CPA in five towns at the mid-term election.  

As a way to grow the program, champions participated in recruitment workshops, where they learned about the variety of program recruitment materials available and brainstormed their own outreach to recruit more Climate Champions. 

In addition, champions had the opportunity to: 

  • Complete the MA Department of Energy Resources’ Solar Siting Survey to advocate for solar projects that protect our natural and working lands 
  • Submit comments on proposed changes to the Massachusetts Environmental Policy Act (MEPA) regulations to advocate for the reduction the time and costs involved with restoring wetlands 

What’s Next 

Climate Champions will be trained by Mass Audubon’s policy experts about local town government, how to take local climate action, and the resources available to facilitate that action. Champions will begin researching their local legislators, learning about their influences and interests, in preparation for future advocacy engagement. 

Mass Audubon’s Policy and Advocacy staff will be finalizing the Legislative Agenda for the 2023-2024 legislative session after reviewing insightful feedback from both Climate Champions and Youth Climate Leadership Program (YCLP) volunteers. 

Get Involved

Become a Climate Champion, no matter your time constraints or experience level! 

Find out more and sign up >