About 100 protesters took to the steps of the Vernon court house Saturday to show their support for climate action.
The demonstration on April 27 is the second protest Earth Strike Vernon has organized, with the first protest in February 2019.
“We have seen a very large increase in numbers, especially considering last protest we had 32 people and now we’ve had over 100 today,” said Grade 10 student Kieran Grandbois, 16, who is the spokesperson and organizer for the movement’s local chapter.
He said the group is calling for action from the government to hold corporations accountable for significant contributions to climate change.
“We want a future,” said Leif Lafrance, co-organizer of the event. “We want corporations to know that we aren’t willing to give up that future. We have 12 years left according to the U.N. before the effects of climate change become irreversible.”
This is one of several protests put on as part of the global Earth Strike movement, which began in November 2018. Since its conception, the movement has spread to over 60 countries. Demonstrators have said they want climate change to be recognized as a crisis and, according to their website, are “demanding immediate climate action from governments and corporations worldwide.”
“We always knew that climate change was an issue, and then we read about the hard facts and statistics behind it, that 71 per cent of emissions on our planet are being produced by just 100 industrial polluters,” said Grandbois at the protest in February.
He referenced a 2017 study by The Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP), a non-profit organization that runs the global disclosure system that aims to make environmental reporting and risk management a business norm and drive disclosure, insight and action towards sustainability. CDP’s Carbon Majors Report “compiled [statistics] from a database of publicly available emissions figures, intended to highlight the role companies and their investors could play in tackling climate change.”
“The earth is dying — actually it’s being killed — and it’s our duty as citizens of our planet, to fight for it because what we stand for is what we stand on, and frankly, the time is long overdue to take action,” Grandbois said Saturday.
“We feel that its necessary now that we all speak up. If we don’t raise our voices then nothing is going to change. Corporations listen only to the bottom line and the majority of them do and we need to have those motives change. We need to see an increase in social mind and thought for the betterment of everyone and not for the betterment of someone’s profit.”