Thousands join climate strikes across New Brunswick
Strikes cap off a week of climate action across the globe
Thousands of New Brunswickers of all ages took to the streets in climate strikes Friday.
The strikes, meant to draw government attention to a climate crisis, were inspired by a movement called #FridaysForFuture, started by 16-year-old Swedish activist Greta Thunberg.
She started missing classes on Fridays in August 2018 to protest outside the Swedish parliament.
Here are some of the people who attended the climate strikes in New Brunswick.
For Chaneil Clements, who attended the Saint John strike, the reason for taking part was simple: survival.
"I do want to be able to at least live to age 30," said Clements.
"See myself grow and be there with my friends and stuff … I want to be able to succeed basically."
She said she would like to see governments adopt tougher laws to help protect the environment and suggested being tougher on people who litter.
"Just earlier I was at the mall and, like, I saw somebody throwing out their trash and, like, barely not even all of it went into the trash can," said Clements.
"It's a little thing but it's still something you know."
Pascal Morimanno attended the Fredericton climate strike with his classmates from École Sainte-Anne.
He said he was happy to see the French and English communities of the capital city come together for the protest.
"People feel that they're comfortable being able to, you know, strike in the language of their choice, which is so important," said Morimanno.
Morimanno said that young people have a willingness to learn and the power to shape decisions.
"You have to be vocal and you have to be good members of the community by expressing your concerns," he said.
Sumaya & Amal Abdalla Muhamed
Sumaya Abdalla Muhamed and Amal Abdalla Muhamed are two Saint John high school students who joined the city's climate strike.
Sumaya said she hopes that politicians listen to her and the other students that came out on Friday.
"Listen [to] what we're saying."
She said she also hopes that the system is changed to help the environment and avoid some of the more devastating aspects of climate change.
Jessica LeBlanc, a Grade 12 student at Saint John High School, said it was the movement's founder, Thunberg, who inspired her to come out.
"I think that we need to change the way our city is rolling," said LeBlanc.
"We're obviously not moving at a fast enough rate that we're going to be able to meet the deadline in the 12 years that we have left before this is an irreversible thing."
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change warned last year that governments only have 12 years to curb carbon emissions to limit the average global temperature increase to 1.5 Celsius.
Climate scientists believe that any increase above the 1.5 C threshold could be catastrophic for the planet.
LeBlanc pointed a finger at industry in the port city as being a major contributor to climate change.
"Irving, obviously, they're an oil company, and they lead to a lot of the pollution in the city," she said.
"Even though they use things like 'Oh, we planted a billion trees, right.' They also have a pulp mill and they have the paper mill. They cut down lots of trees, and trees take years to grow."
Nancy Ward joined about 700 climate strikers outside the legislature in Fredericton.
She said she wanted to support young people who were protesting around the world.
"I think it's wonderful," said Ward.
"People of my generation have done a very poor job, especially the people in power, have done a very poor job protecting the environment."
She said she hopes that politicians listen to the protesters. People of her generation did protest, but their words fell on deaf ears, she said.
"My hope is to the future and I'm very encouraged by what I see there today," said Ward.
Samuel Goodine and Nathan Hall
Samuel Goodine and Nathan Hall attended a climate strike in Woodstock that attracted about 200 people in the small St. John River Valley town.
He said he and his friends are involved with climate causes and try and reduce their carbon footprint as much as they can.
They recently started bringing metal reusable, recyclable straws for their lunch.
"At the high school, we always go to DQ and we use a lot of plastic straws,"
Hall said it's important for students to be good environmental stewards.
"It's just little changes, little things like the metal straws … and just recycling as much as possible," he said.
"Making sure everything you use is permanent instead of throwaway."
With files from Shane Fowler, Philip Drost and Patrick MacDonald