Climate activist Greta Thunberg marches during a climate rally in Vancouver on Friday, Oct. 25, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

Climate activist Greta Thunberg marches during a climate rally in Vancouver on Friday, Oct. 25, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

Adults must protect kids from climate change, Greta Thunberg says during Vancouver rally

Swedish activist Greta Thunberg said global carbon dioxide emissions have increased by 65 per cent since 1992

Swedish activist Greta Thunberg says those in power need to realize what they are doing to future generations through climate change because if adults really loved children, they would ensure they have a safe future.

“But they are not doing that,” she told thousands of people attending a climate rally in Vancouver on Friday. “As it is now, it feels like they are doing the opposite.”

Thunberg said adults ”change the subject” when the climate comes up.

LIVE BLOG: Thousands join Greta Thunberg for climate strike in Vancouver

The 16-year-old expressed her amazement at the size of the crowd, sharing that police said there were 15,000 people in attendance.

“Together, we will make a change,” she said to cheers and applause.

The crowds included many children and teenagers with their parents, crammed into a public square outside the Vancouver Art Gallery in the city’s downtown. They carried signs saying, “Greta thinks you can do betta,” and “You’ll die of old age, we’ll die of climate change.”

Thunberg said global carbon dioxide emissions have increased by 65 per cent since 1992.

“If world leaders would have started to take action back then when this crisis became known to them, then imagine the suffering that could gave been prevented,” she said.

“It is the year 2019 and people are still acting like there is no tomorrow.”

She also warned that today’s youth will hold older generations accountable.

“We are not just some kids skipping school or some adults not going to work. We are a wave of change and together we are unstoppable.”

Thunberg also said she stands in solidarity with 15 young people who announced a lawsuit on Friday against the Canadian government over climate change.

The event was billed as a “post-election climate strike.” Sustainabiliteens, a youth-led group, has been staging Fridays for Future rallies inspired by climate protests Thunberg launched last year outside the Swedish Parliament.

Organizers said they want Justin Trudeau’s government to create a ‘Green New Deal’ that puts science-aligned emission reduction targets into legislation.

Several Indigenous advocates spoke to the crowd. Cedar George-Parker of the Tulalip and Tsleil-Waututh Nations said the $4.5 billion the federal government used to buy the Trans Mountain pipeline would have been better spent on providing university education to young Canadians.

He said the pipeline expansion threatens the already endangered southern resident killer whales as well as, in the event of a spill, human health.

“That’s why we say no means no. That’s why we come out here and stand up.”

ALSO READ: Cowichan Valley teen leads effort to fight climate change

Kanahus Manuel of the Tiny House Warriors, a group of Indigenous demonstrators who have built tiny homes in the path of the pipeline in B.C.’s Interior, told the young people in the crowd that the future is in their hands.

“You take that courage. You keep on fighting, because the old people are going to be gone,” she said.

“Oil and gas, that Old Boys club, is going to be gone, out the door.”

Manuel led the crowd in a chant of “Water is Life.”

Ella Scott, 16, was among the teenagers who attended the rally. She said it was important to stand up and show the Trudeau government that young people care about the climate.

“We need to fix it now or else it’s going to be too late,” she said.

“They’re worrying about money and the economics of Canada but we also need to worry about our future and climate. … If we destroy the climate it doesn’t matter how much money we have, because we can’t buy our way out of global warming.”

Scott also praised Thunberg for leading the climate movement despite some criticizing her.

“People say it shouldn’t be the youth of Canada and it shouldn’t be a teenage girl representing the climate,” she said. “But I think someone had to do it.”

Thunberg is touring Western Canada and attended a climate rally in Edmonton last week that attracted thousands of people to the lawn of the Alberta legislature. The group calling for climate action vastly outnumbered oil-and-gas industry supporters who showed up.

Laura Kane, The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Interior Health update. File photo.
86 new COVID-19 cases, two more deaths in Interior Health

The new deaths are from Heritage Square, a long-term care facility in Vernon

(File Photo)
Fernie Chamber to host virtual chat with business and physicians Jan. 18

The online conversation seeks to address issues including contact tracing in the community

The number of skiers and snowboarders using the Fernie ski shuttle to get to Fernie Alpine Resort from town is down by 77 per cent this season. (Scott Tibballs / The Free Press)
Shuttle use down 77 per cent as travel advisory bites

The ski shuttle in Fernie is reducing it’s frequency to five times a day as a result

A photo from an early construction stage taken in the fall of 2020. (Photo Contributed)
Elkford’s Meeting Place comes to life

Construction on the outdoor space is set to wrap up this coming summer

The RDEK is accepting applications for the CBT’s Community Initiatives and Affected Areas Programs. File Photo)
CBT’s Community Initiatives and Affected Areas Programs accept proposals

Sparwood reminds residents to apply for the grants prior to Jan. 18 at 2 p.m.

Health Minister Adrian Dix and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry head for the press theatre at the B.C. legislature for an update on COVID-19, Jan. 7, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 spread steady with 509 new cases Friday

Hospitalized and critical care cases decline, nine deaths

Seasonal influenza vaccine is administered starting each fall in B.C. and around the world. (Langley Advance Times)
After 30,000 tests, influenza virually nowhere to be found in B.C.

COVID-19 precautions have eliminated seasonal infection

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau listens to a question during a news conference outside Rideau cottage in Ottawa, Friday, January 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Trudeau says Canada’s COVID vaccine plan on track despite Pfizer cutting back deliveries

Canadian officials say country will still likely receive four million doses by the end of March

Jobs Minister Ravi Kahlon shared a handwritten note his son received on Jan. 13, 2021. (Ravi Kahlon/Twitter)
Proud dad moment: B.C. minister’s son, 10, receives handwritten note for act of kindness

North Delta MLA took to Twitter to share a letter his son received from a new kid at school

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Lilly and Poppy, two cats owned by Kalmar Cat Hotel ownder Donna Goodenough, both have cerebellAr hypoplasia, a genetic neurological condition that affects their ability to control their muscles and bones. Photo by Alistair Taylor – Campbell River Mirror
VIDEO: Wobbly Cats a riot of flailing legs and paws but bundles of love and joy to their owner

Woman urges others to not fear adopting cats with disabilities

A COVID-19 outbreak at Vernon's Heritage Square long-term care home has claimed seven people. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
Two more COVID-19 deaths at Vernon care home

Heritage Square has now lost seven people due to the outbreak

Chief public health officer Dr. Theresa Tam provides an update on the COVID-19 pandemic in Ottawa on Friday, Jan. 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada’s top doctor says to avoid non-essential travel as B.C. explores legal options

Premier John Horgan says he is seeking legal advice on whether it can limit interprovincial travel

Martin Luther King Jr. addresses the crowd during the march on Washington, D.C., in August of 1963. Courtesy photo
Government reinforces importance of anti-racism act on Black Shirt Day

B.C. Ministers say education “a powerful tool” in the fight for equity and equality

Most Read