PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — People from across the Portland metro area will rally and march in the Rose City Friday for a multigenerational climate strike, according to organizers with Sunrise PDX.

In a press release, the organization said thousands of people of all ages will be walking out of their everyday responsibilities — at school, home and work — to march from Portland City Hall to the Portland Climate Festival at Revolution Hall. They plan to hold homemade signs, listen to speeches and chant through downtown Portland and across the Hawthorne Bridge.

“This strike amplifies and brings together youth voices at a critical time for climate justice,” Maia Lippay, a strike organizer and sophomore at St. Mary’s High School in Portland, said. “While organizing the strike, I have seen youth like me working to make real and effective change. The strike has the potential to enable young people across Portland to do the same.”

Organizers say the strike is put together by high school climate activists, specifically targeting Portland’s top four “climate villains,” who are “contributing to the climate crisis through their emissions, using marketing techniques and misleading advertising to confuse the public,” among other factors.

Those on the list include NW Natural, Zenith Energy, the Oregon Department of Transportation and the Portland Business Alliance.

“To me, it’s important that we pull youth and adults into this strike because issues of climate change won’t just affect the future generations; they are affecting us now,” JJ Klein-Wolf explained. Klein-Wolf is a strike organizer and sophomore at Ida B Wells High School in Portland.

“Actions taken today will build a stronger foundation for change, which will help create a better future,” she said. “As much as teens seem like they can do everything on their own, we need strong adult role models and support to continue achieving our goal of a stronger and safer tomorrow.”

The Portland Business Alliance and Clean & Safe sent an email to members on Thursday and the greater business community to relay information PBA received from public officials.

According to the alliance, PPB said the event is advertised for the SW 5th Avenue side of City Hall. People can expect traffic impacts around the area with Portland-area high school students participating.

Portland Public Schools told police it indicates limited staff will be at City Hall and along the march route, said the email. Officials say march organizers are advertising stops at NW Natural and the Portland Business Alliance to “confront climate villains.”

“Prior events have included criminal mischief/vandalism,” the email noted.

Officials also told business owners to be aware of the access area around their business along with locking and securing dumpsters, along with removing A-frames signs and furniture in front of businesses.

KOIN 6 News reached out to the Portland Business Alliance for comment.

“We recognize the critical challenges posed by the growing impacts of climate change,” Portland Business Alliance said on its website. “We support policies that promote collaboration with the private sector to innovate and invest in clean technologies that will accelerate reductions in carbon emissions and reduce dependence on fossil fuels.”

The Oregon Department of Transportation also responded to requests for comment.

“Forty percent of Oregon’s carbon emissions come from transportation,” ODOT spokesperson Matt Noble said. “As the steward of Oregon’s statewide transportation system, we have a central role to play in reducing those emissions. We can do this by giving Oregonians more travel choices, and ensuring those choices produce as few emissions as possible.”

ODOT says it’s investing $100 million to encourage the adoption of electric vehicles, funding mass transit in rural and urban areas at higher levels and redesigning roads while investing millions to make it easier to bike, walk and roll.

The statement added, “We cannot do this alone. Reducing our emissions will require governments at all levels to adopt climate-friendly policies. It will also require individuals to make different travel choices.”

ODOT notes that EV registrations doubled in 2021 compared to 2020.

“Sales of bicycles and e-bikes have increased dramatically. We’re encouraged by these trends,” the agency said. “We are committed to working with our state and local partners to reduce our statewide carbon emissions from transportation.”

After KOIN 6 News reached out for comment, NW Natural spokesperson Stefanie Week said the company shares the students’ concerns and urgency about the climate crisis.

“That’s why we are committed to a low-carbon energy future that includes renewable energy, which we can deliver through our existing infrastructure. In fact, we are the first local gas distribution utility in the continental U.S. to invest in and own a renewable natural gas facility on behalf of its sales customers,” Week said. “For 163 years, we have adapted to best serve this region that we love. For generations, NW Natural has invested in the communities where we live and serve. Our longstanding commitment includes support of community organizations that focus on environmental stewardship.”

NW Natural says it has a Destination Zero plan for how it can achieve carbon neutrality by 2050 for the energy services it provides customers.

Zenith Energy also responded to requests for comment.

“Zenith Energy is a leader in the growth of renewable diesel, a product that emits up to 80% less carbon than traditional fossil fuels,” said Grady Reamer. Reamer is the vice president of U.S. Operations West.

“The renewable diesel we store serves many local governments and transit agencies in Portland and surrounding areas, helping the state reduce its carbon footprint,” he continued. “Our plan is to fully replace traditional diesel with renewable diesel, utilizing existing infrastructure to advance the region’s climate goals.”

The climate strike is set for Friday, May 20 starting at 11 a.m. at Portland City Hall.

KOIN 6 News reporter Joelle Jones contributed to this report.