Hundreds join youth-led climate action rallies in Vancouver, Victoria

Youth hold a sign calling for a green COVID-19 recovery at a protest in Vancouver on Friday. Global News

Hundreds of people gathered in Vancouver and Victoria on Friday for a youth-led rally calling for urgent action on climate change.

The events were part of scores of similar rallies worldwide, a part of the Fridays for Future climate strike movement started by climate activist Greta Thunberg.

Students and adults gathered at Jack Poole Plaza in Vancouver and the provincial legislature in Victoria.

“We just elected a new federal government and this is a key point in time to pressure the new government into taking climate action,” co-organizer and Port Moody Grade 11 student Amber Leung told Global News.

Click to play video: '‘Nightmare come true:’ scientists horrified by rate of glacial melt'
‘Nightmare come true:’ scientists horrified by rate of glacial melt

“We see it affecting our future very directly. Because now our generation only thinks about the future … there’s so much uncertainty as to what it’s going to turn out like since we haven’t seen any real action in the past few years.”

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In August, the United Nations panel on climate change warned that human-caused climate change was dangerously close to running out of control.

The latest report from the scientists of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change warned that greenhouse gas emissions have already led to extreme weather events, and that Earth will exceed key warming milestones of 1.5C and 2C within the coming century without urgent action.

Click to play video: 'Dire warning from scientists about climate change and what British Columbians can do about it'
Dire warning from scientists about climate change and what British Columbians can do about it

The newly-elected federal Liberal government has promised to end subsidies and public financing for the oil and gas industry and require companies in the sector to cut methane emissions to by 75 per cent 2012 levels in the next nine years as a part of their platform on climate change.

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Emissions have risen in Canada every year since the Liberals were elected in 2015 according to government statistics.

Leung said demonstrators want the government to stop all fossil fuel expansion, including the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion, and implement funding for a “just transition” to green energy and COVID-19 recovery.

They’re also calling on the government to act on all 94 of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s calls to action on Indigenous rights.

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