Not everyone is happy about Greta Thunberg’s trip to Alberta

Story by CBC Kids News • 2019-10-18 11:35

Swedish teen taking part in climate strike in Edmonton

Thousands of climate protesters will join Greta Thunberg in a Canadian city today as part of the #FridaysForFuture marches.

This time, she’s in Edmonton, in the heart of Canada’s oil country.

The 16-year-old won’t quite receive the warm welcome she got in Montreal last month, where an estimated half a million people marched in the streets.

She’s being met with counter-protesters.

Tweet reads: On Friday I'll join the Climate Strike in Edmonton

A convoy of trucks travelling from Red Deer, Alta., will arrive at the legislature around the same time as the climate march is expected to begin.

Alberta produces oil and gas, and its economy depends on it.

Greta’s fight to end the world’s dependence on fossil fuels could have deep impacts on the people who work in the industry and the province at large.

Matthew Melbourn, a 20-year-old student from Calgary, called Greta’s trip to Alberta “great,” but does not agree with her solutions to climate change.

Matthew Melbourn hopes Greta Thunberg takes the climate fight to countries that produce oil and gas in “less environmentally friendly” ways than Alberta.

“I was hoping that she would be able to come up with an open mind,” he told CBC Kids News. “Fundamentally, I hope this will be a learning experience for her.”

Melbourn said marching in the streets won’t solve the problem of climate change.

“Canada is a world leader in human rights, environmental sustainability and safety,” he said. “And all of this is reflected in how we produce energy.”

He said he hopes Greta will realize that and turn her attention toward countries that don’t produce fossil fuels as ethically as Canada.

Priya Mignault, 15, is part of the #FridaysforFuture Calgary branch, and has been attending school strikes since March, inspired by Greta.

She’s also hoping Greta comes with an open mind.

Priya Mignault, 15, hopes Greta Thunberg’s trip to Alberta will shine light on the oil and gas industry in the province, but agrees it’s important to protect its economy. (CBC)

“A lot of us environmental activists here are not against oil and gas workers, because we are aware that they are doing a supply and demand industry,” Priya said earlier this week.

“That’s what a lot of Albertans make their money on and that’s how a lot of Albertans are fed. I hope she considers that.”

Priya said the push is to transition away from oil and gas toward more renewable sources of energy.

A trailer with stickers promoting the oil and gas industry

A convoy of trucks that travelled to Ottawa in February will make its way to Edmonton today. (David Bajer/CBC)

Alberta’s premier, Jason Kenney, said he’s not planning on meeting Greta.

Edmonton’s mayor, Don Iveson, said the teen is welcome to meet him to learn about “some of the environmentally friendly projects” the city is working on.

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