The Life of Climate Activist Jamie Margolin

She’s only 18 and she has already sued the state of Washington for their inaction against climate change, and rallied thousands of young people during protests. Brut nature met climate activist Jamie Margolin at the C40 Cities summit.

She’s sometimes described as the American Greta Thunberg

At just 18 years old, Jamie Margolin has already: rallied thousands of young people during protests, co-founded an organization that fights for climate justice, and raised her voice before the U.S. Congress.

She was born on December 10, 2001, in Seattle. In 2016, at 14, she campaigned for the first time. While Donald Trump was rising in the polls, she decided to support Hillary Clinton in the presidential race and interned at the campaign headquarters located in Seattle, where she notably translated Spanish, her Colombian-born mother’s native language. Over the years, she became aware of environmental crises and climate change. Around the time of Donald Trump’s inauguration, the youth climate strikes didn’t yet exist. But the Women’s March, which brought together hundreds of thousands of protestors, inspired Jamie Margolin.

At 15, with 3 others, she founded a movement calling for climate action: Zero Hour. In February 2018, while organizing the march in addition to her school work, she sued the state of Washington along with 12 other young people to denounce the lack of climate action. On July 21, 2018, after several months of planning, the youth march took place in over 20 cities, most of them in the U.S. In Washington, D.C., despite the rain, she was joined by several hundred people. In September 2019, she was invited to testify before the U.S. Congress alongside Greta Thunberg.

At activism events or on social media, she emphasizes the link between climate change, discrimination, and social inequality. Notably inspired by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, she took a stand in favor of a Green New Deal. As of the end of 2019, she returned to political activism, getting involved in the Bernie Sanders campaign. Jamie Margolin was named one of the 100 most inspiring women of 2019 by the BBC. In a sign of irony or ambition, the words “FuturePOTUS” (FuturePresident) appear on her Instagram bio.