Several hundred people took to the streets of Montreal on Saturday afternoon to demand climate justice, as protests erupted around the world on the sidelines of COP26.
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“We’re up against the wall,” exclaimed Patrick Bonin, Climate and Energy Campaign Manager at Greenpeace Canada.
A spokesperson for the event, which was organized by Quebec unions, noted the inaction of the governments of Quebec, Canada and the world at large. “It’s time to roll up our sleeves and do more,” he insisted.
Before setting off, protesters formed a human chain around Mount Royal Park, reminding everyone that everyone’s cooperation is essential in the fight against the climate. Then they marched through the streets of Montreal to call the leaders to action.
“For me, there is no greater cause than the climate crisis,” said Olivier, one of the protesters. And he regrets that we focus too much on economic development, preventing us from reaching our GHG goals. “If we don’t have a place to live,” he said, “it’s useless.”
“We want more than blah blah blah,” said Charles, a member of the Socialist Political Alternative group. Its demands join those of Greta Thunberg, who accuses heads of state of speaking great words, without taking concrete action for the climate.
On Friday, in front of thousands of young people demonstrating in Glasgow, the young Swedish environmental activist called COP 26 a “failure”.
World leaders, including Prime Ministers Justin Trudeau and François Legault, have gathered for several days in the Scottish city for the twenty-sixth session of the United Nations Conference of the Parties. They must negotiate and agree to combat climate change.
Quebec Solidere (QS) spokesperson Gabriel Nadeau Dubois walked in Montreal. He was accompanied by fellow deputies Ruba Ghazal, Alexandre Leduc, Vincent Marisal and Andrés Fontechella.
“What we are asking today is finally that we take climate change seriously,” Nadeau-Dubois said. He asks the government of François Legault to draw up a plan according to the goals set by the scholars and to abandon the third linkage project, which the government wishes to build in Quebec.
“This is a project in which we will invest $10 billion while it will increase traffic, increase urban sprawl and increase pollution, so in 2021 we should not embark on projects like this,” he said.
Mr. Nadeau Dubois insists on the urgent need to invest in public transportation in the region.
“We need public transportation everywhere in the territory, even in areas like Rimouski, Drummondville, because we can’t ask people to change their individual behavior if we don’t give them a reliable and efficient alternative,” He-He said.
Our reporter interviewed some of the protesters at the march
“We’re in the middle of COP26 in Glasgow, where we should be making the right decisions in theory, but we’re wondering if they’re not just negotiating, so here we are, it’s one of at least 75 shows around the planet,” highlights one protester.
Another protester adds: “I would actually like the laws to change, especially with regard to carbon neutrality, that’s something that interests me.” By 2050, we definitely want a concrete plan. I also want us to be able to improve composting and recycling management.”
“We ask François Legault today. In order to coherence with the climate emergency, the third link must be abandoned,” added the QS parliamentary leader.
Demonstrations were also held in Quebec City, Joliet and Gatineau.
In September, tens of thousands gathered in Montreal to remind people of the urgent need to combat climate change quickly.
About 200 climate justice events were held around the world on Saturday, from Sydney to Paris, through London, Nairobi and Mexico City, according to the coalition behind the mobilization.
Tens of thousands of protesters even braved torrential rain and wind gusts in Glasgow to call on leaders to act.
“This is our future, my future and the future of my children,” said Jenny, a 22-year-old Norwegian, who was demonstrating in Glasgow. She sees it as “important” that activists in rich countries “fight for” those in poor countries, some of whom “cannot afford to stay long” in Scotland.
The COP26 negotiations, which should be held until November 12, will resume on Monday, after a day off on Sunday.
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