Several student-led climate change rallies are being held around B.C. Friday, as part of a global school walkout inspired by Swedish student Greta Thunberg.
High school and university students from around Metro Vancouver will gather at the Vancouver Art Gallery at 1 p.m., while in Victoria a similar rally is being held at noon at the legislature.
The students join thousands of schoolchildren around the world, who are calling on leaders to take tougher action on climate change.
Thunberg, 16, who led the first climate-change strike by students last year in Europe, was nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize on Thursday.
The global strike for climate action is taking place in countries all over the world, including more than 55 cities and towns across Canada, according to the organizer of the Vancouver event Sustainabiliteens.
“We know we are in a climate crisis.” said organizer Rebecca Hamilton, 16, in a statement. “By striking from school, we are setting an example of urgency in the face of this emergency which we demand our leaders follow.”
“Imagine being a child and suddenly realizing your prospects in life have been potentially irreversibly compromised by the adult world’s refusal to take action on the climate crisis,” said Green Party Leader Elizabeth May, MP for Saanich-Gulf Islands. “What would you do?”
Organizer of the Victoria event Antonia Paquin, 21, a second-year student at the University of Victoria, said she is taking the issue personally, since climate change will affect her directly — not just her children or grandchildren.
“What really has me concerned is that it doesn’t seem like our politicians are even concerned about the scope of the problem,” Paquin said.
More to come…
-With files from The Victoria Times-Colonist