Young protesters across Canada and beyond are preparing to skip school Friday morning and instead hit the streets for a second round of global climate strikes.
More than 150 countries are participating in the demonstrations, including Canada, as part of a global movement aimed at pressuring governments to act on combatting climate change.
In B.C., more than a handful of school districts have said students will be allowed to skip school to take part in local events, including in Chilliwack, Langley, Penticton and Burns Lake.
From marches to “die-ins,” where protesters lie down to simulate being dead, environmentalists young and old will skip their regularly daily responsibilities and help raise awareness about Swedish activist Greta Thunberg’s movement.
Meanwhile, three retail chains will be shuttering operations: MEC, Burton and Lush.
Friday marks the last day of Global Climate Strike Week, which coincided with Thunberg’s trip to the UN Climate Action Summit in New York City, New York.
On Monday, Thunberg delivered a scathing rebuke to world leaders at the United Nations climate summit in New York City.
“For more than 30 years the science has been crystal clear,” she told them. “How dare you look away.”
Also on Monday, she filed a complaint with 15 other children alleging five UN members —Argentina, Brazil, France, Germany, and Turkey — failed to uphold their obligations under the Convention on the Rights of the Child by not doing enough to stop the climate crisis.
Thunberg said they are the five biggest emitters who signed the convention, though Canada ratified the convention in 1991 and has annual greenhouse-gas emissions greater than all but Germany in that list.
The world’s biggest emitters, including China and the United States, did not ratify the convention.
Climate Strike Canada has a list of demands that includes:
- Canada’s recognizing its “disproportionate role” in the climate crisis.
- Enshrining the right to a healthy environment in law.
- Rejecting any new fossil fuel development or transportation projects.
- Setting “bold” targets to cut greenhouse-gas emissions to just one-quarter of what they were in 2005 by 2030.
Canada’s current goal is to cut them to 70 per cent of 2005 levels by 2030, though Trudeau and May have both promised to exceed that and to make Canada carbon neutral by 2050.
On Sept. 20, four million people rallyed around the world, according to the official Global Climate Strike website.
The organizers of the website call for a new approach to climate change – one with a just response centred on human rights, equity and justice.
“Young people have woken up much of the world with their powerful Fridays For Future school strikes for the climate,” the website reads. “Now, millions of adults are joining in a huge wave of that will kickstart renewed action all over the world.”
There are at least 25 events happening across B.C.
– with files from Mia Rabson, The Canadian Press