David Suzuki will be speaking to Richmond students next week at a conference about climate change and the organizers hope it spurs students to action.
Burnett secondary’s Climate Action Now (CAN) Club is organizing the Youth Climate Conference next Thursday and they’re inviting students from all Richmond high schools to attend.
With Suzuki’s vast experience educating the public on climate change, the club hopes “he’ll be able to guide youth so we can take proper action,” explained club president Ashna Dodd.
In addition to Suzuki, Richmond-Queensborough MLA Aman Singh will at the conference, and the students want to challenge him on what action the provincial government is taking to tackle climate change.
In fact, Ashna said she wants to ask him about the provincial government’s timeline for their climate goals, some of which are set for 2050.
“I think action needs to happen faster,” Ashna said.
Kristin Law, vice-president of the club, also wants to know the government’s plans and how soon action will be taken, something that feels urgent for youth today looking at their future.
“It’s disheartening to hear our Earth is dying,” Kristin told the Richmond News.
In addition to a talk from Suzuki, there will be a presentation on plastic pollution and the city’s environmental programs.
Richmond Secondary students will also talk about the “pocket forest,” or “Miyawaki forest,” they’ve planted on their school grounds.
The CAN Club members also hope the conference will lead to more coordination between green teams at different high schools in Richmond, and more climate education in Richmond schools.
Their next step is to speak with the board of education to encourage them to have more education around climate change, Ashna explained.
“We find at our school there’s not much information on climate change,” she added, possibly because it’s not required to be taught.
The CAN Club members said most of what they learn about climate change is outside of the classroom – but they think this should be part of the school curriculum.
Ashna pointed out many students don’t recycle at their school – lots of recyclables get tossed in the garbage – and this is a concrete step students could take, if they knew the impact of recycling, to fight climate change.
The conference will take place Thursday, March 2 from 3:45 to 5:45 p.m.
All students from Richmond high schools are welcome to attend the conference.
Anyone who wants to watch the webinar can access it via Teams, which will be a one-way streaming of the event.
To RSVP for the event or to sign up to watch online, click here.