Cowichan youth are holding a second local climate strike in Duncan on Sept. 20, and are inviting adults to join the cause.
Hundreds of people, both youths and adults, turned up to show their support in dealing with climate change at the first Youth Climate Strike for Action that was held on May 17 in Duncan City Square, and organizers are hoping for an even bigger turnout this time to get the message across.
“It’s unfair that youth carry this burden alone when it’s not even us who created this crisis,” said 16-year-old Katia Bannister, a spokeswoman for the Earth Guardians’ Cowichan Valley crew which is organizing the event.
“To change everything, we need everyone, and that means adults showing up to stand with us shoulder to shoulder.”
Greta Thunberg, a 16-year-old Swedish climate activist who inspired youth climate strikes around the globe last spring, including the one in Duncan, has called for world-wide strikes Sept. 20 to 27 where grown-ups are invited to join young people in drawing attention to the growing climate crisis.
The rally in Duncan City Square on Sept. 20 will feature several speakers before a march to the nearby Cowichan Valley Regional District office, as participants did on May 17, to ask the district to join others in acknowledging the climate emergency and step up action to reduce emissions in the Valley, particularly from urban sprawl and transportation.
The march will return to City Square for music and street theatre.
“Our creed calls us to live with respect in Creation, and it is long past time for people of faith to take action in this growing climate emergency,” said Rev. Katherine Brittain, minister of Sylvan United Church in Mill Bay.
“Inaction is no longer an option. I will be there on Sept. 20 to stand with the youth who are fighting for our futures, and encourage all adults to do the same.”
A 2018 report by the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change outlined the drastic measures needed to limit the global temperature increase to 1.5 C, the rate that will substantially reduce the risks and effects of climate change.
The report said meeting the ambitious goal “would require rapid, far-reaching and unprecedented changes in all aspects of society.”