Groups march in Montreal to denounce climate inaction

As they marched, the groups chanted “climate change is the symptom, the disease is capitalism. If the planet were a bank, we would have saved it by now.”

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A human chain of Montréal residents of all ages stood at the foot of Mount Royal on Saturday afternoon before marching through the streets to protest the government’s inaction in the face of the climate crisis.

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Organized by groups representing Quebecers of all backgrounds, the event was held to demand massive social change that would see an ecological transition to reduce emissions by 50 percent over the next eight years. As they marched, the groups chanted “climate change is the symptom, disease is capitalism. If the planet were a bank, we would have already saved it ”.

The rally, which came just over a month after the last of its kind in Montreal, was one of many that took place around the world during COP26, the United Nations conference on climate change that It was held this year in Glasgow, Scotland, and was attended by Quebec. Premier François Legault.

“This is supposed to be the pinnacle of ambition, and what we have as our motto today is that we are missing the target,” said Patrick Bonin, an energy and climate activist at Greenpeace Canada, speaking of the Paris Agreement that aims to limit the global warming at 1.5 degrees Celsius. “Why are we missing the target? Basically because our government (Canada, Quebec and all the governments of the planet) has not done enough. “

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Unions representing workers from various sectors participated in organizing the protest in Montreal. Part of the demand is that the government work with workers to see a “just transition” away from practices that are harmful to the environment.

Anne Dionne, the second vice president of the Centrale des syndicats du Québec, questioned what concretely will come out of this year’s climate conference, considering that little has been done in the decades since the climate crisis first became a topic of conversation. .

“Inaction has consequences,” Dionne told the crowd. “A climate that is degenerating is more droughts, it is rising sea levels, there are more floods, and we have seen it here in Quebec, there are more forest fires, there are more extreme weather events and, unfortunately, there are more deaths. “

A week before its scheduled conclusion, COP26 also received criticism from Swedish activist Greta Thunberg, who said on Twitter “our so-called ‘leaders’ are not leading, this is what leadership looks like,” sharing a photo of a protest. in Glasgow which was attended by some 100,000 people.

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In Montreal, Mamy Diouma Sow, a 15-year-old from Daniel Johnson High School, shared the perspective of young Quebecers by highlighting the results of a recent survey on the climate crisis, which sought responses from 12 to 18-year-olds across the Province. .

Sow said 90 percent of Quebec’s youth are concerned about the weather and believe it will negatively affect their future. They want the government to adopt a concrete plan to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050, adopt better management of recycling and composting, and educate the population about climate change.

“I’m very proud of all the young people who come in and just talk about the environment and walk the streets,” Sow said.

One of those young men was 10-year-old Quinn, who is concerned about rising global temperatures.

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“And the warming of the North Pole,” he said. “I come from England, by the sea, so my house is going to be flooded there.”

Quinn attended the protest with her mother, Susan Turcot, who said she would have liked to see a larger turnout than the few hundred who showed up to protest Saturday.

“It’s incredibly important to come together and bring your kids, your grandparents and everyone,” Turcot said as he marched down Parc Ave.

A few meters behind Turcot was a man dressed as a globe with a protruding thermometer.

“I am zero waste, I moved towards veganism, I work in electric vehicles as an engineer,” said Olivier Côté. “I try by all means to do what I can as a citizen, as an employee, but I believe that the real changes are political and that is why I am on the streets today.”

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Côté said it’s fine for him to do what he can, but projects like the third link of a tunnel in Quebec City, which costs billions and promotes solo driving, mean that not much will change in the long run.

“I think young people should never be afraid to challenge the older people or even governments because that is what really makes a difference,” said Sow, who is a young environment minister from the Sors de ta bulle group. “So let’s keep our hopes up and fight for what’s right.”

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Reference-montrealgazette.com

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