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Climate march anniversary overshadowed by coronavirus pandemic

Click to play video 'Montreal marks first year anniversary of massive 2019 climate march' Montreal marks first year anniversary of massive 2019 climate march
Montreal marks first year anniversary of massive 2019 climate march

Containing the spread of COVID-19 is overshadowed the anniversary of the climate march held in Montreal on Sept. 27.

“The health crisis that we’re facing right now shares a lot in common with the climate crisis that we’re going to be facing the rest of our lives,” Keith Stewart, the Greenpeace Canada senior energy analyst, told Global News.

The movement calling for action on climate change engulfed Montreal’s streets one year ago. Half a million people — led by environmental activist Greta Thunberg — sent an urgent warning to law makers.

“My message to all the politicians is the same. To just listen to the science,” Thunberg said last year.

Click to play video 'Montreal demonstrators demand climate justice a year after Greta Thunberg speech' Montreal demonstrators demand climate justice a year after Greta Thunberg speech
Montreal demonstrators demand climate justice a year after Greta Thunberg speech

Earlier this month, ice coverage in the Arctic sea shrank to its second lowest level since recordings began 50 years ago, according to Greenpeace Canada.

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“World leaders understand the urgency of the climate crisis and they understand the role of healthy oceans in tackling the climate crisis,” said Laura Meller Greenpeace Nordic.

California Governor Gavin Newsom has blamed the thousands of wildfires burning in his state to the crisis. In California alone, the flames have burned the largest amount of land in state history.

“Climate change is real and that is exacerbating this,” Newsom said on Sept. 14 to U.S. President Donald Trump.

Closer to home, piles of paper products and other recyclable materials continue to fill the Saint-Michel sorting centre. China no longer buys our recyclables and Montreal hasn’t finalized a deal with a new buyer.

“We make some agreement with other countries as well that are willing to take some of that material,” Montreal Mayor Valérie Plante told Global News.

Click to play video 'Recycling plant shutdowns leave Montreal in crisis' Recycling plant shutdowns leave Montreal in crisis
Recycling plant shutdowns leave Montreal in crisis

Plante says the coronavirus pandemic has forced the city to push back some of its environmental goals but she insists last year’s climate march remains an inspiration for the future.

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“That is hope and even in the dark time like this I think it’s important to keep that in mind,” she said.

It’s a feeling shared by activists as well.

“I think the massive demonstration still lives in our memory and its political impact is a lasting one,” Diego Creimer, the co-director of the David Suzuki Foundation, told Global News..