Nelsonites join millions Walk with the World marchers on eve of Paris Climate Change Conference
While many world leaders, including Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and U.S. President Barack Obama, and the 40,000 delegates are in Paris at the UN Climate Change Conference, approximately 500 took to the streets of Nelson Sunday to participate in the Walk with the World.
“It’s obviously a huge issue not only to our community but to the entire world and I’m feeling like there’s huge opportunity internationally for Canada to regain its leadership,” Nelson Councillor Val Warmington said during the gathering at the courtyard outside City Hall.
Warmington joined the hundreds on the walk before welcoming everyone at the short rally at Nelson City Hall.
“I think there is a huge sense of optimism going in to the Paris climate summit that something effective and useful will come out of it,” David Reid, executive director of the West Kootenay EcoSociety said.
“We’ve seen some good plans come from Alberta and BC signalling some real government intention to take action on climate change.
“It’s not nearly far enough, but it’s absolutely a step in the right direction, and I think that encompasses the sense of optimism we have here, that we need to do something, we can do something and we will do something.”
Diana van Eyk said she wanted to keep the pressure world leaders attending the conference as well as movement.
“100% renewable is 100% possible and we need the political will… so…I think rallies like this help,” van Eyk said.
“We just have to use all the tools at our disposal right now and this is one of them.”
Fiona Galbraith with the City of Nelson said Climate change is the biggest challenge of humanity, it affects the entire world and it’s something that all of the communities across the world have to come out and do something about to support change in terms of addressing the issues.
Rallies were also held in Castlegar and Rossland.
“I’m here because I think we’re going to lose the battle with climate change if we don’t get people moving,” said Marg Wood.
“What’s coming out of Paris: not much. But hopefully they have to start moving faster than they have been.”
With files from Keith Wiley