VANCOUVER: Teen climate activist Greta Thunberg will address a rally in Vancouver, British Columbia, on Friday (Oct 25) in the latest leg of her global campaign to spark action to tackle rising carbon emissions.
The 16-year-old Swede has been touring North America after addressing the United Nations Climate Action Summit last month, where she denounced world leaders in a passionate speech for being slow to fight global warming.
This week, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's Liberals won the most seats in Canadian federal election but lost the parliamentary majority. Trudeau needs support from other parties to govern, most likely the left-leaning New Democrats, who want aggressive cuts in carbon emissions cuts and greater urgency in fighting climate change.
"With this being our first strike post election, we need numbers to show our government that we are unstoppable and a better world is possible!" organisers Sustainabiliteens Vancouver wrote on their Facebook page.
The NDP are also opposed to the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project, which would nearly triple the flow of crude from Alberta's oil sands to the Port of Vancouver for export to refineries abroad.
Trudeau's government bought the pipeline in 2018 for CUS$4.5 billion to help it get built but the project in fiercely opposed by environmental and indigenous activists and has been delayed by repeated court challenges.
"Climate leaders do not build or invest in pipelines that not only stand to have devastating environmental repercussions but undermine Indigenous title and rights, Trudeau has taken a contrary path," said Kukpi7 Judy Wilson, Secretary-Treasurer of the Union of British Columbia Indian Chiefs, which will be marching alongside Thunberg.
Protesters will assemble in downtown Vancouver in the morning for a hour-long march through the city centre followed by a rally. The protest will kick off with a news conference announcing legal action by fifteen young Canadians who are suing the federal government for violating their rights by knowingly contributing to climate change.
Last week Thunberg addressed a rally in Edmonton, Alberta, the heart of Canada's energy industry, where she was met by a smaller counter-protest of oil and gas workers.
Canada is the world's fourth largest oil and gas producer and Trudeau's Liberal government is trying to find a balance between taking steps to cut carbon emissions while also growing the country's energy industry, which contributes 11per cent of national gross domestic product.