“Our house is on fire. I want you to act as you would in a crisis. I want you to act as if our house is on fire. Because it is.” Those are the words of 16-year-old Greta Thunberg when she spoke recently at the World Economic Forum in Davos. Her plea was to leaders around the world to take action on climate change.
Greta is just one voice, one of the voices of children all over the world. There are so many more. I’m glad to say I’ve witnessed young people getting involved here in our community. Our middle school students are getting involved in helping at our salmon hatcheries. Elementary students are learning about ocean plastics. They’re forming school green clubs. They are speaking out.
Tomorrow, on May 3, hundreds of thousands of children across Canada are going on a climate strike. Their message to us is that they want to be excited about the future, not scared. They want us to step up and start treating the climate crisis like the emergency that it is.
It is an emergency. We are less than 12 years away from not being able to stop a 1.5 degree increase of temperature globally. And 1.5 degrees is that cutoff that will forever change the world. It will change their world — our children’s.
I want these children to know that I hear them. This is why I got involved in politics. They deserve a future to be excited, not scared, about.
That’s why Bill 28, the Zero Emissions Vehicle Act, is so important. Transportation is the source of nearly 30% of all our greenhouse gas emissions. If we are going to embrace a low-carbon economy, people need alternatives. Making this change is just one small action we can take as a government out of respect for our children’s future.
In the words of Greta Thunberg: “The one thing we need more than hope is action. Once we start to act, hope is everywhere. So instead of looking for hope, look for action. Then and only then hope will come.”
Please watch my speech on Bill 28. We can act together for our children’s future.