On the same morning teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg called out world leaders for their “empty words” at the United Nations Climate Action Summit, the Green Party of Canada released a new youth-focused ad campaign with similar themes.
In a series of slick video advertisements shared to social media, children and young people are shown on a stark white background, holding signs while mournful piano music plays.
“No biggie if crops start failing … I hate vegetables anyways,” says one sign.
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The ads are not exclusively focussed on the climate crisis, but rather a broad look at future generations. They touch on several aspects of the Green platform, including universal pharmacare and housing affordability. The Green platform also pledges to end fossil fuel subsidies and move Canada to a zero-carbon economy by 2050.
Another video focuses specifically on lessons taught to children, and how they should be applied by adults working in government.
“Do it now and you’ll be glad down the road” reads one sign, while another says “you can’t lie or people won’t believe you anymore.”
The video ends with Green Party Leader Elizabeth May, who often complains about heckling and incivility in the House of Commons, holding a sign that reads: “Our kids know how to act. So should our leaders.”
A third video focuses on the perception of the part as a “one-issue” party. It also addresses the fact that May was, for a long time, the only Green member elected to Parliament, sparking a perception it was a “one-person party.”
“Not in this election,” they say in unison.
The ads were released Monday following the start of the UN Climate Action Summit. On Monday morning, Swedish teen climate activist Greta Thunberg gave an emotional plea for climate action to the gathered politicians.
“You have stolen my dreams and my childhood with your empty words,” Thunberg said in her address. “This is all wrong. I shouldn’t be up here. I should be back in school on the other side of the ocean yet you all come to us young people for hope. How dare you.”
WATCH: Greta Thunberg’s speech to the United Nations. Story continues below.
On Sept. 20, youth around the world walked out as part of a global student strike for climate, inspired by Thunberg’s actions earlier this year. On Friday , millions of people are expected to participate in a global climate strike.
May will participate in the Montreal climate strike this Friday. In a statement Monday, she called on federal party leaders Justin Trudeau, Andrew Scheer, Jagmeet Singh and Yves Francois-Blanchet to join her and march “side-by-side.”
“This crisis is more important than partisan politics,” she said. “Regardless of parties, regardless of this election, we need to stand together and proclaim that the status quo is over. Let’s be sure our children know there is an adult in the room. Let’s stop debating what is possible and start doing what is necessary.”
None of the other leaders have announced formal plans to attend Friday’s climate strike.