Youth in Action on Climate Change

Often, and understandably, it is noted that youth feel anxious about the future of our planet with climate change advancing. As well, we have read that the best way to combat this anxiety is for each of us to find ways to take back control by taking action and making a difference. From September 20-27 we can each join in around the country (with others around the globe) to peacefully protest in the #Friday Strikes for Future. Please consider looking up and joining in your area when this is happening. Most major locations have a culminating event on September 24.

#Friday Strikes for Future

“Because adults aren’t acting quickly enough to solve the climate change crisis, despite the abundance of solutions, young people are stepping up and speaking out in many ways and places. The #FridayForFuture climate strikes have grown into a worldwide movement since then 15-year-old student Greta Thunberg began her solitary strike outside Sweden’s parliament a year ago.”

“Thunberg recently arrived in New York, after a cross-Atlantic journey in a zero-emissions yacht, gearing up for a week of climate action from September 20 to 27 that includes the Friday strikes, a UN youth climate summit on September 21 and a global UN climate action summit on September 23. She also plans to attend the September 27 Montreal climate strike.”

“We strike so that in the United Nations meeting, when they speak, it is with our beliefs on their tongues. We strike so that when they raise their hands to vote, it is with the weight of our vision hanging from the tips of their fingers. We strike so that when they stand, it will be with the might of the youth, the workers, and the people,” School Strike for Climate Australia’s Evan Meneses said.

“As adults, we owe it to the youth and those not yet born to do everything in our power to ensure they have a livable future, with clean air, drinkable water, healthy food, biodiverse life and a stable climate. Dropping what you’re doing for one or more days to get out and march may not sound like much, but the more people show up, the louder the message to governments, media, industry and society.”

“Many of us grew up in times and places when we didn’t fully realize that our postwar shift to consumerism as economic policy was depleting Earth’s resources and throwing natural systems and cycles, including the carbon cycle, out of balance. We maybe had an inkling that some wealth in the developed world came at the expense of people in poorer nations, but we didn’t consider that driving around in large vehicles and burning gas were doing much more than causing some pollution, easily resolved by removing lead from gas and making fuel-efficient cars.”

“Now we’ve known for decades where the planet is headed if we continue with business as usual, and it’s not a human-friendly place. Let’s all get out there to demand action — and show the kids we care!” (From, at:

United Nations Youth in Action

“Climate change has increased levels of uncertainty about our future. As its impacts intensify over time, one thing has become certain: We will leave the Earth to today’s children and young people, and to future generations. The world is home to 1.8 billion young people between the ages of 10 to 24 — the largest generation of youth in history. Young people are increasingly aware of the challenges and risks presented by the climate crisis and of the opportunity to achieve sustainable development brought by a solution to climate change.”

“Young people’s unprecedented mobilization around the world shows the massive power they possess to hold decision-makers accountable. Their message is clear: the older generation has failed, and it is the young who will pay in full — with their very futures.”

“Young people are not only victims of climate change. They are also valuable contributors to climate action. They are agents of change, entrepreneurs and innovators. Whether through education, science or technology, young people are scaling up their efforts and using their skills to accelerate climate action.”

“My generation has largely failed until now to preserve both justice in the world and to preserve the planet. It is your (the younger)generation that must make us be accountable to make sure that we don’t betray the future of humankind.” — United Nations Secretary-General, António Guterres

United Nations Youth Advisory Group 

The seven members of the Youth Advisory group met earlier this year with Secretary General Antonio Gutteres for a spirited discussion on climate concerns related to green jobs, debt burdens, inadequate funding for youth movements and indigenous land rights, among others. These seven members of the Youth Advisory Group come from all regions of the world and diverse backgrounds as climate leaders, activists, lawyers, researchers, and economists. Gutteres said “Pressure is needed on those who make decisions and young people are leading that”.

Climate Change and the Election

Fall is in the air.  The kids are back to school.  Gardening plans and pleasures are a blend of final vegetable harvests of the season and perusing catalogues for bulbs and seeds for next spring already. A good time for reflection and renewal, as summer’s warmth starts to fade and crisp, cool nights return.

We return to our co-blogging re-energized after last month’s summer break.

Even more, since we were able to enjoy a special in-person visit together during Lucia and Allan’s trip from Edmonton to visit with Ontario family and friends. It was wonderful to see each other! And, Lucia brought her camera to snap many a Toronto tree (and wildlife) photo to add to her vast collection for our blog 😊. (Catherine learned that black squirrels are a rarity in Alberta, even while they are everywhere in her back garden.)

We are both grateful and proud to call this special country, Canada, our home. The myriad reasons why would fill a different blog!

Given our personal mission in Friends4Trees4Life to empower personal climate action through learning and tree-planting, we are heartened to be living in a country where most citizens take climate change seriously and expect leadership from business and their governments on this matter.

Next week on September 20th, Canadians head to the polls to elect Canada’s 44th Parliament. Importantly, climate action is among the key issues in the political debate and included as part of the campaign platforms for all major parties, with the exception of the People’s Party of Canada.

Obviously, we respect that it is up to each individual voter to weigh the many issues and deciding factors, as we cast our ballots.

To help with that process, in terms of the specific topic of climate change, we found this overview piece by CBC’s Emily Chung to be timely and informative – “Climate Change and the Election: Compare Party Platforms” —

The article outlines the main components in party platform commitments of the major parties with respect to:

  • Emissions Targets
  • Carbon Tax or Carbon Price
  • Modelling and Analysis to Help Assess if Parties will Meet Their Targets
  • Plans for Transitioning Canada to a Low-Carbon Economy
  • Enforcement Approach (e.g., regulation or carbon pricing)
  • Other Dimensions (e.g., climate adaptation plans, electric vehicles, green retrofits, cleaner electricity grids, nature-based solutions for carbon sequestering)
  • Wild Cards (e.g., green hydrogen).

IPCC Reports and Resources

Faster warming
“The report provides new estimates of the chances of crossing the global warming level of 1.5°C in
the next decades, and finds that unless there are immediate, rapid and large-scale reductions in
greenhouse gas emissions
, limiting warming to close to 1.5°C or even 2°C will be beyond reach.”

“The report shows that emissions of greenhouse gases from human activities are responsible for
approximately 1.1°C of warming since 1850-1900, and finds that averaged over the next 20 years,
global temperature is expected to reach or exceed 1.5°C of warming. This assessment is based on
improved observational datasets to assess historical warming, as well progress in scientific
understanding of the response of the climate system to human-caused greenhouse gas emissions.”

“…The report projects that in the coming decades climate changes will increase in all regions. For
1.5°C of global warming, there will be increasing heat waves, longer warm seasons and shorter cold
seasons. At 2°C of global warming, heat extremes would more often reach critical tolerance
thresholds for agriculture and health, the report shows.”

“But it is not just about temperature. Climate change is bringing multiple different changes in different
regions – which will all increase with further warming. These include changes to wetness and
dryness, to winds, snow and ice, coastal areas and oceans.”

“..For the first time, the Sixth Assessment Report provides a more detailed regional assessment of
climate change, including a focus on useful information that can inform risk assessment, adaptation,
and other decision-making, and a new framework that helps translate physical changes in the
climate – heat, cold, rain, drought, snow, wind, coastal flooding and more – into what they mean for
society and ecosystems.”

“This regional information can be explored in detail in the newly developed Interactive Atlas as well as regional fact sheets, the technical summary, and underlying

“..The report also shows that human actions still have the potential to determine the future course of climate. The evidence is clear that carbon dioxide (CO2) is the main driver of climate change, even as other greenhouse gases and air pollutants also affect the climate.

“ ‘Stabilizing the climate will require strong, rapid, and sustained reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, and reaching net zero CO2 emissions. Limiting other greenhouse gases and air pollutants, especially methane, could have benefits both for health and the climate,‘ said Zhai.”

Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change

Elections Canada

Here is the link to Elections Canada’s website where voters may enter their postal code to find the list of candidates in each riding –