A group of Victoria youth met with Mayor Lisa Helps Friday to discuss solutions to the climate crisis, before marching down to the legislature for the Victoria Youth Climate Strike, inspired by Swedish youth climate activist Greta Thunberg. (Keri Coles/News staff)

Victoria youth skip school for climate strike

Global movement inspired by Swedish youth climate activist Greta Thunberg

Following in the footsteps of Swedish youth climate activist Greta Thunberg, local youth held a climate strike in Victoria Friday.

The 16-year-old from Sweden became well-known for starting the first school strike for climate outside the Swedish parliament building in August 2018, raising awareness of global warming.

Thunberg inspired a movement, with more than 20,000 students subsequently holding strikes in at least 270 cities around the globe, with Friday’s strike in Victoria being the latest.

“I’m here because Greta Thunberg, a 15-year-old girl in Sweden, now 16, decided that Sweden wasn’t meeting its Paris Agreement goals so she decided to strike every Friday. We are all following her movement because we want a future and we want this crisis to end,” said 12-year-old Rebecca Wolf Gage, Victoria Youth Climate Strike organizer.

RELATED: CRD directors demand declaration of climate emergency

The Victoria youth met with Mayor Lisa Helps to discuss solutions to the climate crisis, before marching down to the legislature to begin the strike.

“We aren’t alone; youth from across the world are going on climate strike. Kids in 12 cities across Canada are joining the global climate strike this month,” said Wolf Gage.

The group said they are striking to demand a future and to tell governments that they need to do more to combat climate change.

“As children, we can’t vote or run for parliament. We’re told to do our homework and go to school. What can we do to stop this crisis? Well, one of the things we can do is strike,” said Gage.

RELATED: No G20 member has climate plan strong enough to meet Paris targets: report

The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released a report in October which outlines the drastic measures needed to limit the global temperature increase to 1.5 C – the rate that will substantially reduce the risks and effects of climate change.

The report by the IPCC said meeting the ambitious goal “would require rapid, far-reaching and unprecedented changes in all aspects of society.”

The youth strike in Victoria hoped the government could hear their calls to divest from fossil fuels and their chants of, “Our future is being stolen. We’re here to take it back.”


 

keri.coles@blackpress.ca

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A group of Victoria youth met with Mayor Lisa Helps Friday to discuss solutions to the climate crisis, before marching down to the legislature for the Victoria Youth Climate Strike, inspired by Swedish youth climate activist Greta Thunberg. (Keri Coles/News staff)

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