Climate protests are planned this weekend in 50 cities across Canada, just as Parliament prepares to reconvene next week after a summer marked by wildfires, droughts, extreme storms and floods that put climate change in the global spotlight.
The marches across Canada are part of simultaneous global protests planned for September 15-17, which were timed to coincide with the next session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York on Monday and the Climate Ambition Summit on Wednesday .
“After a summer of devastating climate impacts from coast to coast — and after decades of broken promises and rising emissions — the federal government must act quickly to cap emissions from Canada’s most polluting sector: the oil and gas industry”, Climate Action Network Canada. , who helped coordinate the protests here, said in a statement.
The Global Fight to End Fossil Fuels, which is the organization behind the global marches, has six main demands. They don’t want new fossil fuel projects; a “rapid, fair and equitable phase-out” of existing fossil fuel infrastructure; new commitments to international cooperation in the field of renewable energies; the end of “greenwashing”; more action to hold polluters accountable for the environmental damage they have caused; and an end to fossil fuel participation in climate negotiations or funding politicians.
According to a report released last week by Oil Change International, a climate change research and advocacy organization, Canada was one of five “planet destroyers” among countries with advanced economies, sometimes called the “Global North”.
“Five northern countries with the greatest economic means to rapidly phase out production are responsible for the majority (51%) of the projected expansion of new oil and gas fields through 2050: the United States, Canada , Australia, Norway and the United States. United Kingdom,” said the report released Tuesday.
The report says just 20 countries will be responsible for almost 90% of CO2 pollution from the development of new oil and gas fields and fracking wells between 2023 and 2050.
The United States, which the report calls “the planet’s destroyer-in-chief,” accounts for a third of the world’s oil and gas expansion planned through 2050.
“New drilling in countries with high incomes, diversified economies and outsized historical responsibility for the climate crisis, while claiming to be climate leaders, is inexcusable. These countries must not only stop their expansion immediately, but also act first and as quickly as possible to phase out their production and pay their fair share to finance a just global energy transition,” the report says.
Chris Camaso, organizer of the Edmonton climate strike, said: “The effects of the climate crisis can be felt from coast to coast. From devastating fires on Vancouver Island to the destruction of our old-growth forests, it’s time to ditch fossil fuels before it’s too late.
Last month, a climate protester was arrested in National Gallery of Canada in Ottawa after throwing paint at a board during a self-proclaimed climate protest. He was affiliated with the group On2Ottawa, which said the law was intended to draw attention to the group’s calls for Canada to establish a national fire agency that employs 50,000 firefighters by 2024.
The Gallery said the painting was not damaged.
In fashion now
Last week, government experts said Canada could see an increase fires activity for the rest of the year, from eastern Alberta to central Ontario. Some existing large fires could continue burning into September or possibly into late fall or even winter.
“Wildfires have always occurred in Canada, but what is new is their frequency and intensity. The science is clear. The root cause of this situation is climate change. » Jonathan Wilkinsonthe Federal Minister of Energy and Natural Resources said on Thursday.
In July, the federal government released a framework to review and phase out inefficient fossil fuel subsidies. Canada is the first G20 country to deploy such a plan.
Unless a fossil fuel company significantly reduces its greenhouse gas emissions, supports Indigenous participation, offers essential energy services to remote communities, provides short-term support in times of emergency or supports projects including carbon capture, its subsidies would be deemed “ineffective” and phased out. .
These plans, however, have drawn criticism from activists who say they do not go far enough, in particular because the plan to phase out subsidies does not apply to loans, guarantees and equity granted to the TransMountain and Coastal GasLink.
TransMountain was purchased by the federal government in 2018 and plans to sell it later.
The Coastal GasLink pipeline is owned by TC Energy, Alberta Investment Management Corp. and KKR & Co. Inc., and 20 First Nations hold option agreements for a 10% interest.
“With the country on fire, a plan setting deadlines later is not enough,” the Climate Action Network said in a statement. “Canada must unveil a plan this year to end all domestic public funding for oil and gas by the end of 2024, and redirect those funds to support a transition to clean energy that does not cause harm to communities or ecosystems.
United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres warned in July that the world had moved beyond global warming and was now in an “age of global turmoil.”
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