News / Vancouver

Vancouver students push for warning labels on gas pump nozzles

If governments can slap warning labels on cigarette packages so smokers know just how bad tobacco is, why not place similar labels on gas pump nozzles warning drivers about the risks of climate change?

A group of Vancouver students wants to pressure local city councils to mandate these warning labels as part of a campaign launched by Toronto lawyer Rob Shirkey in 2013.

“It’s supposed to force people to confront the far away consequences of everyday actions like filling up your car,” said Kids for Climate Action director Kate Hodgson, a 17-year-old Grade 12 student.

Kids for Climate Action and the Vancouver Youth Sustainability Network hosted Shirkey at the Vancouver Public Library on Monday night for a lecture on the campaign labels with phrases such as, “Use of this fuel contributes to climate change which may put up to 30 per cent of species at a likely risk of extinction.”

Last year, Hodgson met with Vancouver city Coun. Andrea Reimer to chat about the possibility of requiring the labels in the city. The lecture from Shirkey is the next step to hopefully convincing the city to take action, Hodgson said.

Last year, Hodgson met with Vancouver city Coun. Andrea Reimer to chat about the possibility of requiring the labels in the city. The lecture from Shirkey is the next step to hopefully convincing the city to take action, Hodgson said.

“We would love it in Vancouver and we would love it on a broader scale as well,” she said, noting that West Vancouver council voted last year to work on implementing the labels.

The city finds the idea creative, Reimer said Monday, but needs to do more research on the legal constraints.

“We’re obviously all in on the idea of emissions reduction,” Reimer said, adding the most tangible way to achieve that is lobbying to pass the transit referendum.

Green Party Coun. Adriane Carr is also supportive of the students’ efforts to raise awareness about climate change, yet believes it’s more pressing to get youth active in the political arena so they can vote for an environmentally conscious federal government in the 2015 election.

More on Metronews.ca