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Students strike for action to address climate change

Last Updated Jan 16, 2019 at 11:55 am PDT

Lilah Williamson (Left) stands with another student outside Vancouver City Hall on Wednesday, as they call on the city to take more action against climate change. (Lya Finchmann, NEWS 1130 Photo)
Summary

Lower Mainland students are striking at Vancouver City Hall to demand action to address climate change

'...it's such an emergency and we're running out of time, we need to see a lot more,' student says of climate action

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – The battle against increased oil and gas production in B.C. is far from over, and it’s getting the support from a younger crowd in Vancouver.

Some students from around the Lower Mainland have ditched their textbooks and classrooms to rally for more government action to address climate change.

Lilah Williamson is a grade nine student in north Burnaby. She’s also one the of organizers of the rally outside Vancouver City Hall.

A self-described climate activist, Williamson says she’s been interested in the subject for “quite a few years,” following in her father’s footsteps.

“Ever since I started getting into climate change, I kept sharing all these facts and everything about how these things were going on and how climate change will affect us. But I didn’t see a lot of government action and that was really confusing to me,” she tells NEWS 1130.

Feeling helpless, Lilah says she got in touch with other teens from around the region — a group called the Sustainabiliteens — who had planned a school strike to show they wanted to see change.

The group, she explains, was inspired by a strike planned in Sweden, and went from there.

As Vancouver City Councillor Christine Boyle gets set to put forward a motion declaring a climate emergency, Lilah says the striking students are showing their support outside the doors of city hall.

While she admits some action is being taken, Lilah thinks more needs to happen to really make a change.

“Of course there are a lot of positive actions happening towards helping with climate change, but I feel like as it’s such an emergency and we’re running out of time, we need to see a lot more. That’s why I want to help get the message across.”

When it comes to people outside the classroom, Lilah says she doesn’t believe people understand just how dire the situation is.

“I feel like if people did then there would be more action, and we would see more things happening.”

Citing events like the wildfires in B.C., Lilah says it’s important to stress how much climate change will impact everyone, and “the fact that soon that’s going to be the reality everyday,” if nothing is done.

“If they don’t take action now, then they’re not going to have the clean air and the clean water, and the food that they take for granted,” she adds.

-With files from Marcus Fitzgerald