Montreal Mayor Valérie Plante addressed the UN Climate Summit hosted by UN Secretary-General António Guterres on Monday, taking a moment to thank young advocates for their work to protect the environment.
“A small word for the youth: I want to thank them,” she said.
“I want to thank them for pushing us to respond to the climate crisis. These young people remind us every day that the Earth is something we borrow from our children.”
According to the mayor’s office, Plante is “the only representative at the city level at this prestigious forum” to “address the world’s political leaders and others involved in climate action to remind them of the urgent need to act in the fight against climate change.”
The opening panel at Climate Week in New York City, in which Plante participated, is themed “Plans for a carbon-neutral World.”
“The fight against climate change is important for the people, but also to preserve biodiversity — the flora and fauna,” she said.
“We also cannot forget the fights that are interconnected with this, such as social justice and taking care of our most vulnerable populations, such as the First Nations.”
WATCH BELOW: Year-long Arctic climate change study begins
Speaking in French, Plante shared her goals towards carbon neutrality, speaking on behalf of cities across the world. She noted her goal is to reduce emissions by 55 per cent before 2030.
“We are devoted, but we need help from higher levels of government and the private sector,” she stated.
“The cities are ready. We are ready. It’s very ambitious, but we know the recipe. We know what we have to do, cities know what we have to do — reduce solo driving in cars, create more public transport and construct carbon-neutral buildings.”
World leaders, including the chancellor of Germany and the prime ministers of New Zealand and India, were also invited to come and share their plans for the environment and to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement.
“Climate change is the defining issue of our time and now is the defining moment to do something about it,” states the summit’s initiative.
“There is still time to tackle climate change, but it will require an unprecedented effort from all sectors of society.”
Speakers from the private sector and civil society also presented their “concrete actions, plans and initiatives to tackle climate change.”
WATCH: ‘I want you to listen to the scientists’ — Teen activist Greta Thunberg on climate change
On Sept. 27, the mayor will receive environmental activist Greta Thunberg at Montreal City Hall after the climate march.
Following the Global Climate Action Summit last September in San Francisco, the Plante administration implemented a strategy to encourage the carbon neutrality of all buildings in Montreal by 2050.
— with files from The Canadian Press.