Edmonton students set for march Friday to draw attention to climate change
'I generally think of a coming catastrophe that necessary action needs to be done to stop'
Students in Edmonton are finding strength in numbers in a mission to shape government policy on climate change.
The high school students are marching from Edmonton city hall to the Alberta Legislature over the noon hour Friday to draw attention to climate change.
"At this point in time, I generally think of a coming catastrophe that necessary action needs to be done to stop," said 18-year-old climate activist Olivier Adkin-Kaya in an interview on CBC Radio's Edmonton AM on Thursday.
"Just here in Alberta we see a lot of increased events of extreme weather and things like more and worse forest fires," Adkin-Kaya said.
"And here in Edmonton what we'll experience on that end is worse air quality. A few weeks ago, there's one day that was very dangerous to even leave your house."
The recent graduate of Strathcona High School said he was inspired to join the organizing team, Edmonton Youth for Climate, by the activism of his mother, Laurie Adkin, who has spoken out at previous climate marches.
Youth marches, like the School Strike for Climate in March which saw students from more than 40 countries organize walk-outs from classrooms, are an effective way to get the youth message across, he said.
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"I think it's a really powerful thing," Adkin-Kaya said. "Visually, you can see how many people feel strongly on this topic and feel that drastic changes need to happen.
"Local leaders should be listening to the youth and at least I know on the federal level, if the federal parties want to ensure the vote of the youth they need significant climate policy."
Adkin-Kaya said he hopes people from the general public, not just students, will join the march.
"Hopefully, lots of people come out," he said.
With files from Anya Zoledziowski and Tanara McLean