HALIFAX: On Friday, Sept. 23 at 11 a.m. in Halifax, youth climate organizers and their allies are holding a rally to demand that the Nova Scotia government do more to address the climate emergency.

The rally is a part of a global, youth-led day of action with similar events planned for cities across Canada and around the world.  

Organizers in Nova Scotia say that the province has strong climate targets laid out in the Environmental Goals and Climate Change Reduction Act (EGCCRA), but lacks a plan to achieve them.  

“Although the Environmental Goals and Climate Change Reduction Act isn’t perfect, it sets some of the strongest climate targets in Canada,” says Sadie Quinn, organizer with School Strike 4 Climate Halifax. “But a target doesn’t mean much without a clear path to achieve it.

“We need the province to step up, provide the long-awaited climate plan and get to work supporting Nova Scotian communities through a fair transition to a low-carbon future.” 

Maggy Burns, executive director with the Ecology Action Centre, says that it’s important for Nova Scotians to show their support for youth climate organizers by coming to Friday’s rally. Burns points to the power of past rallies in pushing the province forward on environmental issues and the urgent need to keep pressure on decision makers. 

“Youth in Nova Scotia and around the globe are sounding the alarm on the climate emergency, and it’s making a real difference,” says Burns. “The groundswell of support at the 2019 climate strike was instrumental in achieving strong environmental goals in Nova Scotia.

“We need to show up again now to put the government on notice and tell them that we expect our leaders to take the climate and biodiversity crises seriously. That includes the speedy release of a concrete climate plan and an end to business-as-usual on the harmful practices and mindset that are decimating our forests for inefficient biomass, polluting our water with unnecessary gold mining, reopening coal mines and generally leaving communities behind for the sake of corporate profit.” 

Rae Steeves, a grade twelve student at Citadel High School and organizer with School Strike 4 Climate Halifax says that being a part of the planning for Friday’s rally has been empowering and inspiring. 

“I want to send a strong message that climate change is too important of an issue to be put aside,” says Steeves. “I want adults in power to realize that we will hold them accountable.

“This is our future, and we aren’t going to stay silent.” 

The rally will begin at 11 a.m., Friday, Sept. 23 at Victoria Park in downtown Halifax.