We Attended The Global Climate Strike, Here’s What We Saw
Last week we attended the Global Climate Strike in Montreal’s downtown core. A protest geared at highlighting our seemingly doomed environmental trajectory, while urging policymakers to enforce drastic systemic changes.
All-in-all, it was a day filled with camaraderie, chants, and what felt like, the beginning of real change. Here’s a brief overview of the event and why we decided to attend in the first place. 🌍
What Is The Global Climate Strike?
A series of strikes held from September 20-27th, the Global Climate Strike is an international movement of passionate youth demanding action. Born out of the grassroots Fridays For Future strikes started by Greta Thunberg in early 2018, the movement has now taken center stage as people from around the world rally together behind the startling science.
While there have been ongoing protests throughout 2019, the Global Climate Strike contained some of the biggest climate-related events to date. The first took place on Friday, September 20th, with an estimated 4 million people marching the streets and the second was held exactly one week later, at more than half the size.
In total, the world watched as a whopping 7.6 million Change Makers, including 185 countries and 3024 businesses, joined forces.
The best part was these events began a couple of days before more than 50 countries gathered together at the United Nations for the Climate Action Summit. A Summit where prominent leaders discussed ambitions to curb greenhouse gases and establish a series of commitments to keep the rising global temperature below a total increase of 1.5 degrees.
Why Did We Attend?
As environmental trajectories become more of a concern, we’ve committed ourselves to serious changes, both personally and with Welfact. We’ve taken steps to be more environmentally conscious and plan to become certified as a B Corp once we’re eligible to apply (a company must be at least a year old). While the B Corp certification will not answer all of our fears, we think it will nonetheless hold Welfact accountable to a series of environmental standards that we’ll refine over time.
It has always been our belief that to be part of any solution, we must act and support movements or organizations working to help. With this mindset, we saw no other option but to take the day off and head down to the center of town to walk with a half a million of our peers.
As we arrived at Mount Royal park, we saw crowds of people gathered together for a common mission. There was an air of enthusiasm, drum breakouts, and chants demanding action. The sun beat down overhead, texts failed to send, and the sky showered with helicopters and drones.
Greta Thunberg led the rally, alongside 15 Indigenous and 15 non-Indigenous delegates holding a banner with the statement "Au front pour la Mère Terre, To the front lines for Mother Earth." According to organizers, an estimated 500,000 people marched behind them, making the event the largest protest in Quebec’s history and one of the biggest climate gatherings worldwide this month.
As the day came to a close, Greta gave a passionate plea to an eager crowd. She praised our support but demanded that we continue the push for change. (Unfortunately, we missed the live event, but we were able to catch it online, here).
So Where Do We Go From Here?
The Global Climate Week may be over, but our determination to see real change beats louder than ever before. As Greta and other prominent climate advocates suggest, we must continue our fight. Until policymakers and leaders of the private sector take action, we shall continue to support the organizations and movements working tirelessly to save our environment.
📸 Images from the event are available for download on Welfact’s Unsplash profile.