Ottawa – A candlelight vigil was held in Ottawa this week to commemorate the victims of Super Typhoon Haiyan and to call for action on climate change.
The event, part of a series of events held in capitals around the world and in cities across North America, came at the conclusion of the UN climate conference in Warsaw.
“Tragedies like Typhoon Haiyan prove that the time has come for real, positive action on climate change, and our government needs to seize this opportunity,” said Gabriela Rappell, national director of Sierra Youth Coalition. “Instead our government stalls action on climate change internationally, and removes environmental protections domestically, while citizens across Canada are showing grassroots solidarity with the people of the Philippines and calling for climate justice.”
The vigil initiative was sparked by youth and civil society groups in the Philippines, who called for the global community to join them in hosting candlelit vigils.
While the vigils are independently organized, many will carry the unifying message #WeStandWithYou. They are meant as displays of solidarity with all victims of climate change impacts, and against those forces blocking climate progress.
“Typhoon Haiyan has reminded us all of the urgency to fight climate change,” says Muthanna Subbaiah from 350.org Ottawa. “The debate is over – it is time to act swiftly and courageously. We must ensure that the achievement of our time is defined by how rapidly and decisively the world came together to resolve the greatest crisis faced by humankind.”