Young Canadians helping to fight climate change
Young Canadians are concerned about how climate change is affecting their future, but there is hope. The following stories have a common theme: if we all take action to fight climate change, be it small or large, it can make a difference. Every action inspires others to join the fight against one of the greatest challenges we face today. #TogetherForImplementation
Equipping youth with knowledge on climate change, what they can do to fight it, and how we can adapt, can motivate youth to take action. Amy learned about climate change in high school and that has motivated her to make more environmentally friendly choices, such as taking public transit instead of driving. In her spare time, she is also working on an engineering design project that will help decrease food waste and promote sustainable agricultural practices to minimize carbon dioxide emissions from the sector.
Ian is taking climate action by staying informed on climate and environmental issues and making more sustainable choices. By being informed, Canadians can take individual steps toward collective action on climate change. Ian is applying his knowledge in his personal life, by significantly reducing his red meat consumption, driving less, using energy saving technologies such as a smart thermostat and prioritizing energy efficiency as he looks for his first home.
At any stage in life, climate action is important because there is no alternative or back-up for the environment.
Katherine’s passion for animals and the environment has contributed to her career choice. She is currently a Wildlife Biologist with Environment and Climate Change Canada, helping to protect wildlife using legislative tools and working collaboratively with partners. In previous jobs, she contributed to habitat restoration, research, and breeding/reintroduction. The most rewarding moment in her career so far was seeing animals born and raising them to go back into the wild. She also enjoyed having the chance to work with the public and educate them on wildlife. In her personal life, she tries to reduce her environmental footprint by making sustainable choices such as picking up litter, avoiding produce wrapped in plastic, buying local, composting, gardening, buying an electric vehicle and contacting city councilors to push for changes at the local level. While Katherine acknowledges the need for more ambitious actions from governments and businesses, she also demonstrates that individual actions have an impact on the environment and are worth the effort. We cannot get anywhere if we say “why bother, no one else does it”.
Nahid grew up spending a lot of time with her family enjoying the outdoors and experiencing nature. That’s why the environment and climate action are so important to her. She would like to see a world where we find sustainable solutions to combat climate change and where countries take more measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Climate action is critical for future generations to continue to experience and enjoy the natural wonders and biodiversity on our planet.
Pierre-Olivier is an active outdoor enthusiast. To make his skiing, camping or mountain biking adventures as low emissions as possible, he bought an electric vehicle (EV) 2 years ago. Since then, he has taken three trips from Montreal to Vancouver, as well as to Yosemite National Park and San Francisco, California, demonstrating it is possible to travel long distances with an EV. Fortunately, he now lives in British Columbia, and closer to the mountains! As often as possible, Pierre-Olivier tries to limit the number of trips that require flying. When he’s not able to avoid it, he offsets his carbon emissions by buying credits that contribute to climate-related projects.
He has also cut red meat from his diet, which has the biggest impact on the environment, buys local wines, and buys second hand items when possible.
Young Canadians want a better future for themselves and for those who come after them. Growing up, Sam felt a kinship to nature. Today, she advocates for climate action with Sustainable Youth Canada to ensure others can have the same relationship and experience she had.
In Sam’s view, we are all part of our environment. It's important to her that we return to a way of thinking and being which highlights the reciprocal relationship between people and their environment. By advocating for climate action, she can bring these issues to light and challenge the systems which have put us in the climate crisis we are in today.
We all have a role to play in protecting our planet. For Stephanie, there are three simple things Canadians can do. The first is learning about climate change and being mindful of our level of eco-anxiety. There are lots of resources available from documentaries, podcasts, news articles, reports and academic journals that can help us to understand why it is such an important issue in our lives. The second is talk about climate change with friends, family and peers. This will help create meaningful conversations that can inspire collective action. Lastly, understanding how we can use our existing skills, resources and passions to tackle climate change can help make a significant difference for the future!
Growing up in Shanghai and Tokyo, Yoko experienced many natural disasters at a young age such as typhoons, flooding, storms and earthquakes. Over the years, she learned about environmental issues and their impact on communities. This helped spark her interest in environmental issues. While completing her undergraduate studies, she founded the Wildlife Conservation Club. Over 200 students joined in the first year and it continues to be an active organization that conserves wildlife and their habitats. Yoko has also supported and participated in many international events and initiatives such as the Stockholm+50 Youth Task Force and will join the upcoming UN Biodiversity Conference (COP15) in Montreal. She believes that youth, whether from developed or developing countries, need to be engaged at all levels of climate discussions to ensure broad perspectives are taken into consideration.
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