One of the most alarming causes in need of urgent attention is climate change. Experts are warning that with the acute effects of global warming, it will only take a 1.5℃ increase in temperature for us to see irreversible damage to our water supply, food security, and more. At the rate we’re currently producing greenhouse gases and tackling climate change globally, it’s natural for the youth of today to be shaken by what further neglect could mean for the future of Earth.
Today’s youth have taken it upon themselves to lead the charge in the fight against climate change. With educational resources like environmental documentaries or books about climate change becoming more accessible, today’s youth are armed with the knowledge to create change.
In Canada, there are several young climate activists who are doing phenomenal work to raise awareness and demand action from governments around the world. In celebration of this year’s Earth Day, we want to shine a light on five inspiring young Canadian activists who are making a difference by making our planet a little greener through their activism.
25 | Peterborough, ON | LinkedIn
Shaelyn Wabegijig is an Indigenous climate activist who is Algonquin Anishinaabe, a member of Timiskaming First Nation and Caribou Clan. Currently, she resides in Victoria, British Columbia at University of Victoria for her Master of Arts in Indigenous Governance. She is a current member of the Sacred Water Circle.
Shaelyn is one of seven young Ontarians, backed by Ecojustice, who sued the Doug Ford government for weakening its 2030 climate target and violating Ontarians’ Charter rights. She has always felt a sense of responsibility to all our relations, and since she was a child, she has been determined to change the world which hasn’t wavered.
27 | Calgary, AB | LinkedIn
Kat Cadungog is a passionate climate activist whose focus is on supporting the next generation of youth activists in the fight against climate change. Currently, she is the Executive Director of the Foundation for Environmental Stewardship. An organization focused on sustainability through empowering youth, changing lifestyles, education, advocacy and mentorship.
Kat’s major goal is pushing others to change how we think of and use philanthropy for the benefit of climate change, in addition to making a meaningful impact in the fight against climate crisis using policy.
25 | Waterloo, ON | @karishmaclimategirl
Karishma Porwal is a social media influencer and climate activist who has been using her platform to raise awareness about climate change. Karishma focuses on educating her audience on easy ways and practices that can be incorporated into anyone’s daily routine for more sustainable living. One of her more popular TikTok’s gained over 83K views for its critique of our consumer-driven society.
Karishma is CTV’s eco expert on their Your Morning TV segment. Recently, she also appeared on CBC’s What on Earth for her innovative use of social media to spread the message about the urgent need for action on climate change. Advocating for deinfluencing, a movement against constant marketing that social media platforms provide leading to an uptick in unsustainable consumerism.
28 | Calgary, AB | LinkedIn
Jasveen Brar is a Sikh climate educator who is working toward creating a just and climate-resilient future through education, policy, and capacity building to support youth-led climate solutions.
Currently, she is the Executive Director at Youth Climate Lab, a youth-for-youth global non-profit organization. Their vision is to support youth, no matter who they are or where they are from, to catalyze transformative climate action in their communities to the highest levels of decision-making.
20 |Montreal, QC | @albert.lalonde
Albert Lalonde is a passionate climate change activist, who started advocating for the reversal of the climate crisis as a student in Montreal. They are known for their work in organizing general assemblies of their peers with the goal of shutting their school down to bring attention to Quebec’s lack of action against greenhouse gas emissions. Albert was also named as a plaintiff in another lawsuit filed against the Canadian government criticizing Ottawa’s lack of action against climate change.
Albert strongly believes the environment must be our number one priority and the government’s lack of action is violating young people’s rights to be young. After feeling climate anxiety from extreme weather in their home city of Montreal, Albert turned to activism as a way to work toward reversing the effects of climate change.
Despite the challenges that come with raising awareness about global warming and changing climate policy, especially as young people, young Canadians continue to be driven and dedicated to fighting climate change. These young changemakers should be an inspiration to us all, and their efforts to raise awareness and demand action on climate change do not go unnoticed. Join the movement by supporting their efforts or by testing your climate change knowledge in our climate change quiz.