Several organizations now part of a coalition held a rally in Utica Friday advocating for "climate justice."
One of the organizers is from Long Island.
"I live on the South Shore, and seven years ago Hurricane Sandy came through, and there are still people who are recovering from that. There is now regular flooding on the south side of my town. This is a very personal thing for me. This is a very personal thing for everybody because the climate crisis is going to be impacting everybody," said Eric Stenzel of Sunrise Movement Hamilton College.
That's how Jonathan Schuyler feels too. When the Frankfort native saw an advertisement on Instagram to get involved, he had to.
"We're just going to go underwater," Schuyler said. "We can't live that way, and everything that's going on with the big corporations, we've got to stop that or put a hold on that until something changes on their end."
Some said people need to encourage local government to step up.
"This is an issue we need our government to be talking about. The climate crisis is happening now. We're witnessing it, and it's time to act," Stenzel said.
Oneida County adopted the State's Climate Smart Communities pledge in August.
It includes decreasing energy use, shifting to clean, renewable energy, and recording emissions and setting goals for climate action.
Although steps are being taken in Oneida County to help the environment, activists said more needs to be done.
"We have other demands as well," said Stenzel. "Really, there isn't much discussion. For example, the City of Utica doesn't have a specific climate action plan."
The U.N. Climate Change Conference is taking place now through December 13.
There are efforts to take the next steps in the U.N. climate change process.
Over the summer, Governor Cuomo signed the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act.
It includes a requirement for a carbon-free electricity system in the state by 2040, and the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by 85-percent below 1990 levels by the year 2050.