Protestors denounce federal government for missing its Paris Agreement targets

Hundreds gathered for the Global Day of Action for Climate Justice

Hundreds of Montrealers took to the streets of the Plateau-Mont-Royal, denouncing federal and provincial governments for missing their Paris Agreement targets.

For almost two hours on Nov. 6, the Global Day of Action for Climate Justice, the crowd walked around the Plateau-Mont-Royal, from the Georges-Étienne Cartier monument to Jeanne-Mance Park, raising concerns about the environmental crisis. 

Political leaders are currently meeting in Glasgow for the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference. Meanwhile in Montreal, people are asking for concrete climate actions. 

Patrick Bonin, climate and energy campaigner from Greenpeace, questioned the efficacy of international climate summits. “[COP] is supposed to be the most ambitious summit, and what we have today as a slogan is ‘we miss the target,’” he said. 

“All governments around the planet have not done enough. And now we are coming up against a wall.” — Patrick Bonin

According to Bonin, Quebec has insufficient and unambitious objectives for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Yet, he says, the government is still unable to meet the Paris Agreement with only 50 per cent of identified measures reached.

“All governments around the planet have not done enough. And now we are coming up against a wall,” Bonin said.

Réseau intersyndical pour le climat, a network of working unions all around Quebec, organized the march to reinforce Montreal workers’ power in making a difference for climate within the workplace. 

Many unionized workers reunited on Mount Royal, mobilizing against governments dragging their feet to act upon the climate crisis.

“We need objectives that are worth it. And we must stop failing targets,” said Anne Dionne, spokesperson of RIC and vice-president of the Centrale des syndicats du Québec. 

Dionne said global warming contributes to ecological disturbance, but emphasized high related human deaths worldwide. “Only here in Quebec, we expect up to 20,000 deaths by 2065,” she said. 

According to the Quebec National Institute of Public Health, deaths from climate change could rise to 147,000 by 2090 in the province. 

Dionne says we must learn to reduce consumption and make governments implement concrete structures to meet climate targets.  “We have enough of this foolishness,” she said. 

Holding green flags between them, joined together to create a human chain of solidarity and empowerment, shouting: “Global warming, it is the symptom; the disease, it is capitalism.

“It will be young people that will have to fight the planet crisis and find solutions to remedy climate changes,” said Mamy Diouma Sow, a 15-year-old student from Daniel Johnson High School. “It is a relief to see that young people like me mobilize. It makes you really proud of your generation.”

Sow attended the march in solidarity with other young environmental activists. She asks for governments to revise the climate crisis education, especially in schools. According to Sow, awareness about environmental precarities in schools would make a difference in the environmental transition. 

The population is expecting a lot from political leaders currently meeting for COP26. 

Bonin hopes people will continue mobilizing to stop governments from enforcing harmful projects and empower the population to make the ecological transition a fair and green movement.