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Climate Strike 2019

Climate Strike 2019

Climate Strike 2019

Global Climate Strike 2019

Global Climate Strike

Sept. 26, 2019

Tomorrow people in over 150 countries are showing up for Mother Earth to rally against climate change.

We are showing up to support young people who are striking to demand action on climate change. In downtown St. Catharines there is a large group of young leaders, business owners and activists getting together to make their voices heard. So many of us have been inspired by Greta and Autumn.

Climate change is the defining challenge of our generation and we all have to take action.

Cities have an important role in this. That is why the City of St. Catharines joined the Global Covenant of Mayors (formerly called the Compact of Mayors) in 2015. We have made a commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and prepare for the impacts of climate change. We are taking action at City Hall by banning plastic bottles, straws and single-use plastics. We have installed electric charge stations and more are coming soon. The City recently hired a climate change coordinator to implement local solutions including better recycling. We know that cities have an important role in addressing climate change and I’m proud of the work we have done so far – and more that will come.

St. Catharines is also a founding member of the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Cities Initiative. This is a coalition of Canadian and US mayors to promote, protect and restore the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River. I am an active member of this group, and work with environmental staff on initiatives to protect the Great Lakes and local waterways.

Council has recognized that we must take action to protect the natural environment for future generations and be part of global solutions. It is embedded in our strategic plan and decision-making.

We are taking these actions because we are seeing the impacts of climate change already. With rising water levels on the Great Lakes, record-setting storms (like the one that flooded basements on Aug. 6), flooding and unpredictable weather, toxins in our waterways, invasive species, and eroding shorelines. The truth is that climate change is real and it is here. That is why St. Catharines City Council joined other cities in declaring a climate emergency this spring, to recognize the need for urgent action.

We all have responsibilities in this.

All levels of government, businesses big and small, cities, and individuals. Cities really are on the front lines of climate change and we have to do more.

I’m proud of the work we have done so far and the commitment St. Catharines Council and staff have made.  I’m also very proud of the amazing young people who are leading this initiative and look forward to the future with so many bright and energized leaders taking charge. I look forward to seeing you out there tomorrow!