Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg told Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau this morning he’s not doing enough to protect the environment from the threat of runaway climate change.
Trudeau met the teenage activist ahead of this morning’s mass climate rally in Montreal in his capacity as prime minister. The pair spoke in private for about 15 minutes.
After the meeting, Thunberg was asked if she had a message for Trudeau. She said that Trudeau is not doing enough — but added that she says the same thing to every political leader she meets.
“My message to all the politicians around the world is the same: just listen and act on the current, best available united science,” she said.
“I try not to focus on the individuals and rather focus on the whole picture because … of course it’s easier to just blame someone and of course he has a lot of responsibility…. and he of course is not doing enough.
“But we need to, because this is such a huge problem, this is a system that is wrong so, my message to all the politicians is the same — to just listen to the science and act on the science.”
According to reporters at the scene, Trudeau asked Thunberg in their meeting what her friends back home thought about the march. She told the Liberal leader there will be about 60,000 people marching in Stockholm today.
“A few more than that today,” Trudeau responded.
Thunberg said she was pleased with the size of the crowd in Montreal.
Addressing the crowd today, Thunberg said she did not have a prepared speech but she was thrilled to be among people gathered for “a common cause.”
“That is very empowering and it is very moving to see everyone … of all generations and ages. It is a very good day, I would say,” she said.
Trudeau will join the march in Montreal today.
As millions of youth around the world take to the streets to call for urgent action on climate change, the Liberal leader promised to plant two billion trees if his government is re-elected.
Trudeau said the initiative would use the power of nature to fight climate change, help cities expand and diversify urban forests, better protect trees from infestation and help rebuild forests after wildfires.
The program would support an estimated 3,500 seasonal jobs in tree planting, according to the Liberal Party.
The tree planting initiative would be part of a broader $3 billion, 10-year fund to support efforts across the country to better manage, conserve, and restore forests, grasslands, agricultural lands, wetlands and coastal areas that help store and take carbon pollution out of the air.
According to Liberal Party background documents, the initiative would be an annual investment of $300 million, starting in 2020-21, with costs offset by revenues from the Trans Mountain pipeline.
Further details related to costing will be released over the course of the campaign, the party claims.
Joining Thunberg at the rally today was Assembly of First Nations National Chief Perry Bellegarde, who praised her for her leadership.
“You don’t have to be elected to be a leader. You are leading,” he said.