WATCH: What do climate strikers want?

CBC Kids News • Published 2019-06-19 12:29

Kids from across Canada sent us videos from their protests


EDITOR'S NOTE: This story is part of a CBC News series called In Our Backyard, which looks at how climate change is affecting Canadians, and what is being done about it.


Canadian kids have been “skipping school for a cause” for months now, marching in the streets and calling for action on climate change.

But exactly what kind of action are they looking for?

The climate strikers are a group of more than a million kids from around the world who are following in the footsteps of Swedish teen activist Greta Thunberg.

The movement she started continues to build momentum as Fridays for Future marches continue across Canada and elsewhere on the planet.

Amidst the protest signs, colourful banners and sassy slogans, it can be hard to figure out exactly what the strikers want.

That’s why CBC Kids News asked kids across Canada to film their local protests and tell us their specific demands during the Canada-wide climate strike on May 3.

You can see highlights from the footage they sent us in the video at the top of the page.

Here’s more of what they had to say:

Willa

Willa Vipond, 11, in Calgary wants the government to make it easier for people to buy electric cars.

Ada

Regina climate striker Ada Dechene, 12, wants the government to invest in alternative forms of energy, like wind and solar power.

She also wants local governments to build more bike paths and boost public transit so it’s easier to get around if you don’t have a car.

Ada Dechene, 12, in Regina wants governments to push for car-free cities and invest in renewable energy. (Ada Dechene)

Julia

Julia Weder, 22, is from Haida Gwaii, B.C., but she filmed her protest in Ottawa.

She wants Canada to stop relying so heavily on fossil fuels, including things like oil, natural gas and coal.

Katherine

Calgary climate striker Katherine Arich, 15, said she wants governments to pass laws that would regulate businesses and the greenhouse gases they produce.

The idea would be to “hold people accountable” for their environmental impact, she said.

Katherine Arich, 15, in Calgary says businesses need to be held to account. (Katherine Arich)

Tess

Speaking from a protest in Calgary, Tess Wilton, 10, said carbon taxes are “a good thing.”

Carbon taxes put a price on pollution by making it more expensive for people to burn fossil fuels to heat their homes, run their cars or keep the lights on.

When do you want it… now!

The climate strikers have lots of suggestions for concrete actions the Canadian government should take.

And they seem to agree that change needs to happen quickly.

There’s no time for temper tantrums, said Vancouver climate striker Salma Rafi.

“We will not stand for world leaders to act like children,” the 15-year-old said.

Vancouver climate striker Salma Rafi, 15, says it’s time for world leaders to stop acting like children and make some hard decisions. (Salma Rafi)

Alexa Taylor, also 15, explained her motivation for joining the Fridays for Future movement from the May 3 rally in Calgary.

“I want to be able to say that I did something” to stop climate change, she said.

Halifax climate striker Jessica Griffin, 13, said she worries that if kids don’t pressure governments to make changes now, she won’t have a future.

She said it’s fun to imagine what you want to be when you grow up, but “what if that never happens?”

Learn more

Here’s CBC Kids News contributor Campbell Baron speaking with Suhana Meharchand, host of CBC News Network, about his ongoing climate series on June 19.

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