A generation of Greta is growing up — and they’re mad

It’s hard to believe that just four years ago, Swedish teenagers skipped school for the environment, inspiring millions of people around the world to do the same.

But for the many kids who followed in Greta Thunberg’s footsteps, the past four years have gone by quickly.

Instead, they have been punctuated by disappointments and failures.At the peak of 2019, with more than 6 million people taking to the streets worldwide, the Fridays for Future movement became bigger and more ambitious. The same cannot be said for the actions of world leaders regarding the Climate File.

While there have been promises to cut emissions, Greta of the Generations claims it falls far short of what is needed to avert a climate disaster.

On Friday afternoon, they gathered in Queen’s Park and more than 600 locations around the world. A little older, a little wiser, a little angry.

“We are here because the climate crisis is real,” said 23-year-old Aliénor Rougeot, one of the protest organizers. “But our emissions are still growing.”

“And every day, people in those towers and banks and governments do nothing. They enable the destruction of our future.”

“Decades of inaction on climate change are killing people right now,” she added. “Three million of her people have been forced from their homes in Pakistan because of floods and the climate crisis.”

More than 1,000 people attended one of the first global climate gatherings in Toronto since the pandemic canceled in-person gatherings. And the bright-eyed children of four years ago were nowhere to be seen.

17-year-old Theodore Lamb skipped an afternoon class at Marc Garneau University to bring his sister Sophia to a rally.

Hundreds of people gathered in Queens Park on Friday to take part in the Youth Climate Rally to draw attention to climate change.

“The government keeps setting goals and missing them,” he said. “There is a climate emergency here. Governments need to act as such.”

Students, union activists, and indigenous people across the city threw out confident but harsh tones.

For example, their demands are precise and ambitious. They want a commitment to reduce national greenhouse gas emissions by 60% by 2030. This is 50% above the current federal goal.

They advocate for the abolition of all fossil fuel subsidies and for the transition to a green economy, while respecting the sovereignty of indigenous peoples and a just transition for those who lose their jobs, homes and livelihoods to extreme weather events. We want a large investment.

In between Mike’s turns, Rougeot offered her thoughts on how the youth climate movement has grown.

“A tremendous amount has changed,” she said. “In 2019, I made a proposal and hoped it would be implemented. Now it feels like a demand. As an elected official, you are responsible to us.”

“I mean, it’s a real change from optimism and hope. Now it turns to anger,” she said.

Hundreds gathered in Queens Park to participate in a youth climate rally to draw attention to climate change. After some speeches and songs, the group walked to Yonge Street, then south to Yonge and Dundas for a short stop before regrouping at Nathan Phillips Square.

Politicians on hand did not address the crowd. MPP’s Mary-Margaret McMahon, Peter Tabuns, Mike Schreiner and Kristyn Wong-Tam instead preferred to use their presence as a sign of solidarity.

Other things are changing as well, such as the global situation of skyrocketing prices and record corporate profits.

Some people ask themselves, ‘How can we do something about climate change if we can’t have a full tank?'” says Rougeot. “I am angry that people who profit from pollution and inflation are spreading such narratives.”

This comes after United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said this week that the fossil fuel industry “is enjoying hundreds of billions of dollars in subsidies and windfall profits while households shrink and the planet burns.” It’s a message that was repeated when I spoke to the leaders of

Mr. Guterres urged wealthy countries to tax the profits of energy companies and redirect the money to “countries suffering loss and damage from the climate crisis.”

Denmark is the only wealthy country ever to pledge $17.7 million to the United Nations General Assembly this week to step up funding for “loss and damage” in the global South from climate-related disasters.

“I stand by you and understand and share your frustration with the pace of change. Federal Environment and Climate Change Minister Stephen Guilbeau said in a statement.

Ahead of the demonstration, the Federal Environment and Climate Change Minister Stephen Guilbeau voiced his support.

“As a longtime environmental activist, I stand by your side and understand and share your frustration with the pace of change. continue to do so,” he said in a statement.

Guilbeault said the upcoming International Climate Summit in Egypt in November and the Biodiversity Summit in Montreal in December will help Canada work with other countries to put the world on the road to net zero emissions. I gave it as an example of how to lead.

He also noted the recent establishment of the Youth Council on Environment and Climate Change, a forum for young people to influence government policy.

“I salute your passion and thank you for pushing us faster and further. Together, we create a healthier, safer and more sustainable environment.” I can do it.”

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A generation of Greta is growing up — and they’re mad

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