Marching for the future

Hundreds of Kelowna students cut out of class early Friday afternoon to join students around the world in protest against inaction on climate change.

At 1 p.m., students flooded into downtown Kelowna's Kerry Park with signs urging politicians to take drastic action to cut carbon emissions and combat rising global temperatures.

The protest was organized by 15 students from schools in School District 23, representing almost every secondary school and post secondary institution in the city.

“Our future is at stake, and the future of our children and our grandchildren,” said Lauren Moody, a Grade 12 Okanagan Mission Secondary student and organizer of Friday's event.

Moody says she would like to see the federal government take steps to cut Canada's carbon emissions by 45 per cent by 2030, in an effort to help keep global average warming to 1.5 C above pre-industrial levels.

“I'd like to see ambitious action from the Canadian government, but I'd also like to see individuals going out and taking it upon themselves to become informed and make changes in their own lives,” Moody said.

Kelowna's newest councillor, Loyal Wooldridge, was one of the people who addressed the crowd Friday.

“We should be really proud in Kelowna that our youth, our leaders of the future, are using their voices to take action against climate change,” Wooldridge said.

“If we don't make more responsible choices now and in the future, we're not going to have a very bright future.”

Moody wanted to share a message of hope through the rally.

“I think when you look at the future through the lens of climate change, you can either choose to react with fear or hope, and I think hope is a better choice,” Moody said. “Power comes from the people, so if we start rallying, then change is going to happen.”

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