A day after Greta Thunberg gave a moving speech at the United Nations Climate Action Summit in New York, high school students in Nova Scotia are taking notice of the Swedish teenager’s continued activism to hold governments accountable for a lack of action on climate change around the globe.
“She’s really become the face of a movement and we realize that we have to make sure we get good policies put forward because this is our future, this is our kids’ future and there’s no time to waste,” said Evan Colclough, a Grade 11 student at Cole Harbour District High School.
Colclough and his classmates aren’t old enough to vote in the upcoming federal election but aren’t shying away from becoming part of political conversations around climate change.
“I don’t want to have to be living in a planet where most of my home is uninhabitable because it’s too warm, or there’s nothing to eat. Especially here, where a lot of Nova Scotia is on the coast,” said high school student Joseph Wild.
Thunberg didn’t mince words when she addressed the Climate Action Summit, condemning international governments for not reducing carbon emissions sooner.
“People are suffering, people are dying, entire ecosystems are collapsing,” she said on Monday.
Climate change has become a major federal election issue but many youth are critical of how long it’s taken for the topic to become part of campaign platforms.
“I hope that these conversations will really start to resonate with people and that more people, youth as we grow up, and, as well, people who are in power now will really understand that we need to take action,” said Grade 11 student Hope MacPherson.
While these high school students wait until they’re old enough to vote, they’re using their time to continue to be inspired by Thunberg’s environmental activism.
“I feel like it’s important that the youth, in general, are having these conversations and are actually looking globally at what’s going on when it comes to global warming and all that,” said Zoey McPhee, a Cole Harbour District High School student. “I feel like if we don’t do anything sooner or later, it’s going to be too late to change it.”