Climate Day Fill the Hill
I have many visions for Canada, but one of the most important things I want our country to do is make a strong commitment to climate change mitigation. In the past several years, our international reputation has diminished to the point where other countries do not expect strong leadership from Canada. Having personally attended an international meeting on climate change, I have met other youth from around the world who are disappointed with our lack of action. This is the opposite direction I want us to be going. In my vision, we would be leading sustainable energy production, and phasing out fossil fuels to compete in the new green economy. I want Canada to reclaim its image as environmentally committed – and fast!
In 2009, an organization called 350.org organized a world-wide day of climate action. The organization’s mission is to promote a reduction of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere to 350 ppm. Unfortunately, we are well over this number at 396 ppm. This was the first ever global event organized for climate change action. I was living in Ottawa at the time, and helped organize a non-partisan, peaceful event on Parliament Hill to raise awareness on the commitments Canada needed to make at the upcoming climate change meetings. The event was a great success with over 3,000 people in attendance, even on a cold rainy October day. We had musical acts, and speeches from people such as Gracen Johnson, Tzeporah Berman (PowerUp Canada), Stephen Hazel (Sierra Club Canada) and Elizabeth May (Leader of the Green Party of Canada). I even left several voicemail messages for Mr. Stephen Harper over the course of the following week urging him to make strong commitments to climate change mitigation, and to listen to the youth of Canada who are demanding change.