Before Mayor Valerie Plante welcomes well-known Swedish anti-climate change activist Greta Thunberg to City Hall on September 27th – she will be stepping up to the podium at the UN’s climate summit in New York on September 23rd. Mayor Plante will be addressing the assembly after opening speeches, during a panel discussion on the theme ‘Plans for a Carbon Neutral World’. As the only city mayor at the summit, she will be speaking to world leaders and other representatives involved in the climate action agenda. In a statement from city hall, her goal is ‘to remind them of the urgency to act in the fight against climate change’ – following through on an announcement she made last year at the Global Climate Action Summit in San Francisco of the city’s administration plans to make all buildings in the city carbon neutral by 2050.
Just four days later on September 27th, Mayor Plante will be back in Montreal, welcoming Greta Thunberg at City Hall – after the big March for Climate taking place in the city, which she will also be attending. The march is expected to attract at least 300,000 people, most of them students – who have been leading the way. It will be an unprecented event, with the Commission scolaire de Montréal, the province’s largest school board, announcing the cancellation of classes on that day, calling it a ‘pedagogical (PED) day for the climate march’ – as well as Concordia University saying it will be cancelling classes for the afternoon and some CEGEP teachers unions voting to strike that day. Quebec Premier François Legault said he had no plans to meet Greta Thunberg during her visit here.