Montreal Mayor Valérie Plante thanks youth for holding leaders accountable at UN Climate Summit

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Montreal Mayor Valérie Plante addressed the UN Climate Summit hosted by UN Secretary-General António Guterres on Monday, taking a moment to thank young advocates for their work to protect the environment.

“A small word for the youth: I want to thank them,” she said.

“I want to thank them for pushing us to respond to the climate crisis. These young people remind us every day that the Earth is something we borrow from our children.”

According to the mayor’s office, Plante is “the only representative at the city level at this prestigious forum” to “address the world’s political leaders and others involved in climate action to remind them of the urgent need to act in the fight against climate change.”

READ MORE: Greta Thunberg to receive key to city after Montreal climate march

The opening panel at Climate Week in New York City, in which Plante participated, is themed “Plans for a carbon-neutral World.”

“The fight against climate change is important for the people, but also to preserve biodiversity — the flora and fauna,” she said.

“We also cannot forget the fights that are interconnected with this, such as social justice and taking care of our most vulnerable populations, such as the First Nations.”

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Speaking in French, Plante shared her goals towards carbon neutrality, speaking on behalf of cities across the world.

“We are devoted, but we need help from higher levels of government and the private sector,” she stated.

“The cities are ready. We are ready. It’s very ambitious, but we know the recipe. We know what we have to do, cities know what we have to do — reduce car pollution, create more public transport.”

READ MORE: ‘Best way to fight climate change is to go to school,’ Quebec education minister tells students taking part in climate march

World leaders, including the chancellor of Germany and the prime ministers of New Zealand and India, were also invited to come and share their plans for the environment and to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement.

“Climate change is the defining issue of our time and now is the defining moment to do something about it,” states the summit’s initiative.

“There is still time to tackle climate change, but it will require an unprecedented effort from all sectors of society.”

Speakers from the private sector and civil society also presented their “concrete actions, plans and initiatives to tackle climate change.”

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On Sept. 27, the mayor will receive environmental activist Greta Thunberg at Montreal City Hall after the climate march.

READ MORE: Quebec premier won’t seek meeting with climate activist Greta Thunberg

Following the Global Climate Action Summit last September in San Francisco, the Plante administration implemented a strategy to encourage the carbon neutrality of all buildings in Montreal by 2050.

— with files from The Canadian Press.

rachel.lau@globalnews.ca

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.





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