About 30 people, half of whom were school-aged youths, lined South Fraser Way just outside Abbotsford City Hall Friday afternoon as part of a climate protest, calling for more action on the climate crisis, part of a worldwide school walkout. Dustin Godfrey/Abbotsford News

Abbotsford youths grill mayor on environmental policy at rally

Local youths continued climate strike as worldwide action takes place in hundreds of cities

Some Abbotsford middle school students say the city’s efforts to reduce its environmental footprint is “a start” after getting a chance to grill the mayor on the matter during a protest outside city hall.

About 30 people in total showed up to the climate strike – one of hundreds of such rallies planned for Friday afternoon as part of a continuing global youth climate movement inspired by 16-year-old Swedish activist Greta Thunberg – half of whom were school-aged youths.

Around the world, youths have been walking out on classes on Fridays, with larger climate strikes in March and on Friday, May 24, including a small contingent of Abbotsford youths.

RELATED: Abbotsford youths take up climate strike

The rallies are a call to action for governments at all levels in all countries to take urgent action on climate change, with the call growing stronger in the wake of an International Panel on Climate Change report last October outlining the dire situation, giving the world until 2030 to slash greenhouse gas emissions in half.

In Abbotsford, the call made it to the top office locally, with Mayor Henry Braun stopping by to meet the youths who left school for the rally.

“He said a five year plan, they’re going to eventually have all the light bulbs changed [to energy-efficient LED] in the city,” said Lauren, a local middle school student who got to speak to the mayor at the rally.

A group of students at the rally said the actions they heard from the mayor were “a start.”

RELATED: B.C. youth continue to strike for climate justice

“We definitely have a long way to go, but you’ve got to start somewhere,” said Bronson, another student.

The students said they wanted to see more electric cars on the streets and called out governments for putting off solutions to climate change.

“And people building buildings with concrete, because concrete is really polluting, lots of CO2,” Lauren said.

She also noted that while there are many streets with bike lanes, “I have noticed until recently that a lot of roads don’t, and on the way over here I’m on the sidewalk.”

Angie, another student at the rally, suggested changing the language to “climate emergency” to properly convey the urgency in the actions required to address the changing climate.

Braun said he was encouraged to see the youths being active in demanding action on climate change.

“I told these two young ladies here that your generation is thinking about the environment much more. When I was their age, I didn’t think about it because it wasn’t an issue,” Braun said.

He added that the city is also looking at changing its transit over to natural gas, rather than gasoline fuel, a cleaner form of energy, but action from governments require money.

“So we can’t maybe do it as fast as we would like.”

Report an error or send us your tips, photos and video.

Dustin Godfrey | Reporter


Send Dustin an email.
Like the Abbotsford News on Facebook.
Follow us on Twitter.


School-aged youths got a chance to grill Mayor Henry Braun about what the City of Abbotsford is doing about its environmental footprint at a small rally outside city hall Friday afternoon. Dustin Godfrey/Abbotsford News

Just Posted

UFV Lieutenant Governor’s Medal winner an advocate for Indigenous inclusivity

Leanne Julian recognized for involvement in promoting diversity and reconciliation

Walk to End ALS raises $48,000 in Abbotsford

Event held at Mill Lake Park attracted almost 600 people

Fraser Valley author launches second crime novel

Seamus Heffernan releases book Ten Grand on June 27 in Abbotsford

Airshow brings millions to Abbotsford, UFV study says

Out-of-town airshow spectators spend more than $4 million in the city each year

Man now faces five charges in relation to 3 robberies at Abbotsford pizza restaurant

Kolton Klassen was first arrested and charged with one robbery on June 9

Protesters rally in Victoria over newly approved Trans Mountain pipeline

The Still No Consent! No Trans Mountain! 20 kilometre march will end at Island View Beach

Wildfire burning in coastal forest

A fire beside the Sea to Sky Highway is burning up a steep slope

PHOTOS: Event marks one year since soccer team rescued from Thai cave

Nine players and coach took part in marathon and bike event to help improve conditions at cave

Rock climber dies after fall at Stawamus Chief in Squamish

The man had fallen about 30 metres while climbing in the Grand Wall area

Five B.C. students taken to hospital after playing with vaping device

School district said students were taken to hospital ‘out of an abundance of caution’

Being a pot dealer is not what it used to be

Sunday Big Read: the business of selling marijuana in B.C. is a slow bureaucratic slog

VIDEO: Two more pride flags have been stolen from Langley woman

Lisa Ebenal was “angry” and “fed up” after the latest theft. Then people started showing suppport

B.C. couple who has raised 58 children turns to community amid cancer diagnosis

Family who raised, fostered and adopted many kids hoping to gain some precious together time to fight cancer

Most Read