Young climate activist readies for ‘week of action’

Emma-Jane Burian is ramping up her support for climate action by taking the No Future Pledge — committing to not having children until more is done in the fight against climate change.

The pledge was created by Emma Lim of Climate Strike Canada, said Burian, 17, and 200 young people have already signed on.

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“We decided to do it because we aren’t seeing the action from government that we need on climate change,” she said. “And we wanted to express fear in that — the fear for our future — but also we wanted it to be a plea for action.”

Burian said the reaction to the pledge has been positive.

“Lots of people, lots of media are very interested.”

After a Monday press conference at the legislature, she said she expected more people to step up and take the pledge.

Burian has been one of the leaders of a series of climate strikes in Victoria, including a May 3 event that saw hundreds of youth march along Government Street before rallying at the legislature.

Friday will start “a week of action” for climate issues across Canada and around the world.

That will include a noon “die-in” at the legislature, where participants pretend to be dead. It will coincide with other die-ins at the same time in other Canadian centres.

Burian said participants will lie down for seven minutes, representing the seven climate demands that they have.

Beginning at 2 p.m. Friday, the group Extinction Rebellion Vancouver Island plans to make a call for climate action by occupying the Government Street/ Belleville Street intersection after a march from the nearby Victoria Tourist Information Centre.

Spokesman Eric Doherty said there will be speeches, dancing and music within the intersection.

He said the idea is “to disrupt the sense of business as usual in the legislative precinct.”

The occupation is scheduled to last until 10 p.m., Doherty said.

A general strike in support of climate action, in which people are encouraged to leave school or work for the afternoon, is set for noon on Sept. 27; there will be a rally at the legislature.

jwbell@timescolonist.com

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