On September 27th, approximately 100,000 people took the streets of Vancouver for the global Climate Strike.
The Vancouver Humane team joined this inspiring event, which was youth-led and called on governments to take immediate action on climate change.
Organizers had anticipated around 15,000 people would join the strike. Instead, it ended up being the city’s largest protest since the Walk for Peace in 1984, when 115,000 marched in support of nuclear disarmament.
The incredible turnout illustrates the reality that climate change truly impacts all of us and that reality is already being felt across Canada. On average, the country is currently warming at twice the global rate, with Northern Canada warming at almost three times the global average. Across Canada, climate change is leading to increases in precipitation, heat waves, intense forest fires, water supply shortages and an increased risk of coastal flooding. It’s also a major contributor to the planet’s growing biodiversity crisis, which currently threatens over one million species with extinction.
As the widespread support for the Climate Strike reflects, the time for climate action is now and addressing the issue requires that we all do our part. Collectively, we must call on decision-makers for system-level changes that ensure we reduce emissions in order to limit warming within 1.5 degrees Celsius. The upcoming federal election is an important opportunity for calling on candidates to commit to meaningful and science-based measures for tackling climate change.
At the same time, we can make individual-level changes in our daily lives that can also have a major impact. A growing body of research is calling for a significant reduction in global meat consumption and a transition toward a more sustainable and climate-friendly plant-based diet in order to meet our international climate commitments, avoid the worst impacts of climate change and to help tackle the growing factory farming trend and biodiversity crisis.
So while the climate emergency can seem daunting, there is so much hope in the collective call to action brought forward by the 7.6 million people from around the world who participated in the week of actions surrounding the Global Climate Strike.
Here are a few of our favourite photos from the Climate Strike: