Teens stage school strike in Vancouver to press for more action on climate

    1 of 1 2 of 1

      For young people, the relentless increase in greenhouse gas emissions poses an existential threat.

      So today, a bunch of them walked out of classes in Vancouver as part of an international movement to push for greater actions to deal with climate change.

      The #climatestrike movement was launched by a Swedish teenager, Greta Thunberg, who spends her Fridays in front of the Swedish parliament.

      In Vancouver, teenagers skipped school to hold a rally and then sit in the office of B.C. Environment Minister George Heyman, who's the MLA for Vancouver-Fairview.

      “As teenagers, we want to be excited about our future, not scared about impending climate catastrophe,” a 16-year-old organizer, Rebecca Hamilton, said in a news release. “We are part of a global movement of youth rising to defend our collective future. We aren’t here out of anger. We are here out of love: for nature, for each other, for what we appreciate about life.”

      Hamilton attends Lord Byng secondary.

      Meanwhile, a 17-year-old from Seaquam secondary, Kisa Naqvi, said that that students appreciate "the positive steps outlined by CleanBC", which is the name of the B.C. government's climate plan.

      It aims to reduce annual B.C. greenhouse gas emissions by 25 megatonnes by 2030—which would be 40 percent below the 2007 level.

      However, Naqvi said that the "plan is based on targets that do not align with recommendations from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change".

      That's because to remain 1.5 degrees on average above the pre-industrial period, it would require global emissions to be cut by 45 percent by 2030 and to zero by 2050.

      B.C. aims to reduce emissions by 80 percent below 2007 levels by 2050.