Former U.S. vice-president Al Gore praised the climate change initiatives that Premier Kathleen Wynne has put in place for Ontario. Photo by Truman Kwan.

Former U.S. vice-president Al Gore said that youth are the future of climate change action and urged students from Ryerson and schools across the GTA to get involved.

Gore sat down with Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne Thursday morning at Ryerson’s Mattamy Athletic Centre in a facilitated discussion about climate change.

Ryerson students, as well as students from certified EcoSchool elementary and high schools across the GTA, were among the hundreds of guests.

“These are the folks that are determining the future for all of us,” said Lindsay Bunce, the executive director of Ontario Eco-Schools. “It’s their innovation and creativity that will determine how we’re solving problems going forward.”

The Lead On Climate event, organized by the Ryerson Leadership Lab, was open to the public and free to attend. Ryerson president Mohamed Lachemi said that Gore waived his speaking fee.

In his opening speech, Gore spoke at length about Wynne’s policies pertaining to climate change and praised her initiatives. He called Ontario’s climate change initiatives “superior” to many he’s seen.

He said that the reality of the current climate conversation is “persistent climate denial,” calling it something that didn’t happen overnight.

Following the talk, free copies of Gore’s newest book, An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power, were handed out to those who attended.

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