“I don’t know what my future will be or the future for the next generations. . . . It scares me that people and societies are not changing, that we don’t learn more about this when we are young. Adults need to do more.” Alex Hodson, Grade 5
With a passion for climate justice and a list of demands directed at all levels of government, a group of young people in Nogojiwanong/Peterborough hope to heighten the urgent need to address climate change.
The recently-formed Youth Climate Action Club (YCAC), made up of children and youth ages nine to 14, is organizing a climate strike in Peterborough/Nogojiwanong this coming Friday, March 25, at 3:30 p.m. in Confederation Square, across from Peterborough City Hall.
Last October, four local elementary students, deeply concerned about inaction on climate change, decided to heed Greta Thunberg’s call and form their own climate justice group. They recently came up with a name for their group — the Youth Climate Action Club (YCAC) — and joined forces with high school students to organize an event for Global Climate Strike day on March 25. The group now includes over a dozen youth activists with a heartfelt desire to advocate for climate justice.
Alex Hodson, a Grade 5 student and one of the founding members of the YCAC, was inspired to organize the Climate Strike because, as she explains, “For somebody my age, I don’t know what my future will be or the future for the next generations. Nature is resilient and will come back, but humans are acting in a way that will lead to our own extinction if we don’t change. It scares me that people and societies are not changing, that we don’t learn more about this when we are young. Adults need to do more.”
Building off of the work of Fridays for Future Toronto and the Just Transition Day of Action, the YCAC has created a list of demands, asking those in positions of power locally and globally to take action to mitigate climate change. The full list of demands can be found on the YCAC’s social media: on Instagram (www.instagram.com/youth.climate.action.club/) and Facebook (www.facebook.com/YouthClimateActionClub).
Recognising the connection between climate and social justice, the group is committed to resisting oppression in all its forms. It is calling on the City of Peterborough:
- to end encampment evictions and provide safe and dignified housing
- make a legal commitment to protecting all greenspaces and wetlands, and to planting trees in areas that have been cut down. These spaces are critical to protecting us from future floods and extreme weather
- institute a municipal climate change plan that includes free public transit, affordable housing, and more accessible health and mental health services so that every person in this community is protected from the climate upheaval we will see over the next decade
The event on Friday will have speakers across generations, including Elder Dorothy Taylor, Hodson, and other YCAC members. The event and the YCAC are also supported by local organizations the Council of Canadians Peterborough-Kawarthas, For Our Grandchildren, the Peterborough Alliance for Climate Action, and OPIRG Peterborough.
All are invited to join the YCAC on March 25 to hear from these amazing young activists and raise your voice to join their call. Signs and masks are encouraged.
The Youth Climate Action Club (YCAC) is a group of elementary and high school students based in Nogojiwanong/Peterborough who want to raise awareness and educate others about climate change and work towards saving the planet in creative and fun ways. Interested youth are invited to join.