Minister for Transport Khaw Boon Wan is in Canada to lead the Singapore delegation at the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) World Aviation Forum and the 40th Session of the ICAO Assembly.
Unfortunately, the ICAO Assembly has to suspend its ongoing triennial assembly for a day, as 500,000 protesters gathered in front of the ICAO headquarters to demand climate action.
Khaw, who is in Montréal from 22 Sep. to 4 Oct., said that he too "decided to head outdoors to the Greta Thunberg Climate Rally March instead".
The 16-year-old Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg made headlines around the world when she delivered a speech at the United Nations’ Climate Action Summit, sharply rebuking world leaders for failing to act on climate change.
Khaw, who is the co-ordinating Minister for Infrastructure, observed that the protesters were made up of "mostly youths and families", as they carried placards promoting vegan diets, cutting waste, and recycling.
Khaw concluded that it was a "peaceful and pleasant protest march, but with a serious message".
Agreed that aviation industry needed to pollute less
A few hours earlier, Khaw posted on Facebook an article about Thunberg by Reuters via CNA.
He commented on the rising mood against aviation, and said that the "aviation industry needs to clean up further".
Khaw called her a "young Swedish girl who launched a global rally against world leaders for doing nothing to protect our planet".
Khaw commented that the suspension of ICAO assembly was something new, and it "reflects a rising mood against aviation especially in Europe".
He agreed that the aviation industry had to clean up more, by using "better fuels that pollute less".
The transport minister also added that equivalents of electric vehicles in transport are needed in aviation.
Climate change strike in Montreal led by Thunberg
The teenage Swede led a climate change rally in Montreal on Sep. 27, which was attended by an estimate of 500,000, according to The Montreal Gazette.
The Montreal protest comes as the ICAO is debating ways to lessen the aviation industry's impact on the environment at its assembly, which will end on Oct 4.
Thunberg has become the face of the environmental movement, and had called for world leaders to "listen to the science, act on the science," during the climate change rally.
The rally was also attended by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
Top image via Khaw Boon Wan Facebook.