Activists Demand End to Fossil Fuel Subsidies, Call For Clean Energy Now

Thursday June 17 was a Global Day of Action in the lead-up to the G8 meetings in Muskoka (June25-26)  and the G20 summit in Toronto (June 26-27). Around the world, activists called on world leaders to invest in the future by tackling climate change, fighting poverty and inequality, and rethinking the global economy.

From the tcktcktck website:

Toronto, Canada is the site of the G20 and played host to the main action of the day. Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, Chair of the G8 & G20 Summits, has said that ‘climate is a sideshow’. With that in mind, event organizers decided to make Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper the star of his own sideshow.

In a parade through Toronto’s bustling financial district, “Prime Minister Harper” led a group of his favourite banker buddies in a series of joyful dances as they handed out billions of Canada’s brand-new ‘billion’ dollar bills. In their wake, they left a messy crowd of oil-drenched citizens being cleaned up by taxpayers. This peaceful and vibrant anchor event was designed to send a clear message to Prime Minister Stephen Harper: Stop dancing around the issues and put climate change on the agenda of the G8/G20.

Here’s a video of the Toronto event:

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o16KbNaOSUE]

More links:

Watch an interview with Robert Fox, Director of OxFam Canada, on CTV TV

Oily Activists Demand Clean Energy” Toronto Sun

G20 Day of Action.tcktcktck.org

PM Harper Continues to Ignore Calls From International Community To Put Climate Change on G8/G20 Agenda

I’m up early this morning, listening to the rain come down on an already saturated prairie city.  When my husband and I went out last night to celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary we found the water in some places on the road came up to our wheel wells.  The roads weren’t as badly flooded as after the record-breaking rain Winnipeg experienced 10 days ago, when motorists were stranded in underpasses as the city’s drainage system was overwhelmed (click here for a picture).  On the CBC Radio Morning Show yesterday, there was a story about how farmers’ fields are flooded and either the crops they’ve planted are under water or their fields are too soggy to plant in. The Manitoba government has received as many crop insurance claims so far, 6 months into 2010, as is the norm for most entire years (and more are expected). And yet not a word was said about how climate scientists have been warning for decades that the warming of the atmosphere will result in global weather “weirding”!

We are starting to pay the price for unmitigated climate change, in insurance claims (from crops to flooded basements) as well as in unpredictable weather.  I grew up in this province, and I know that Manitoba summers should be hot and sunny.  2009 was the summer that wasn’t, in this part of the world – rain, rain, and more rain!  We shall see what 2010 has in store for us, but one thing we should know for sure is that we can’t count on the weather any more.  The implications for our economic system, which will be stretched to the limit, and likely past it, with dealing with the fall-out from freak weather, are enough to make any tax-payer shudder.  This should make politicians wake up and address this issue now, while dealing with it is still manageable. But instead the majority of our national leaders are short-sighted and focused only on making their political opponents look bad today, and, in the case of Minority Prime Minister Stephen Harper, shoving his minority agenda down the all of Canadians’ throats. Mr. Harper wouldn’t recognize climate change if it came up and introduced itself to him over breakfast one day.

Yet another high-profile call for putting climate change on the G8/G20 agenda in Toronto has come in, this time from six Nobel Laureates.  Their letters, sent separately to PM Harper as well as to the leaders of other countries attending, warn climate change threatens both the planet’s economy and the planet’s security.

“Environmental degradation and global warming, and their impacts, are economic and security issues as well as environmental ones. Failure to address climate change will put the global economy at further risk, and plunge millions who are already living on the economic margins into deeper poverty. This poverty leads to more migration, more violence and greater social and economic insecurity for both developing and developed nations.”

Instead of recognizing that economy is interwined with many other issues, including climate change, Mr. Harper has chosen to cancel the usual meeting of environment ministers that generally happens concurrently with the main G8/G20 economic summit.  He has also rejected calls from international leaders such as UN Chief Ban Ki-moon, EU President Barroso, and Mexican President Felipe Calderon, to put climate change on the agenda of the Toronto summits.

If you are concerned about the Harper government’s increasing isolation internationally, and the damage being done to Canada’s reputation, why don’t you let him know?  Here is his contact information: telephone: 613-992-4211, email: Harper.S@parl.ga.ca, fax: 613-941-6900.

If you are on Facebook, you can join the group “Tell Harper to put Climate Change back on the G8G20 Agenda”. Click here to go to that page.

More links:

“Nobel Laureates Urge Harper To Put Climate On G20 Agenda“. Canada.com

“Man. Crops Getting Washed Out” CBC.ca

Save the Climate Accountability Act, Bill C311

Don’t Kill the Bill – Save the Climate Accountability Act via “Its Getting Hot In Here” , Dispatches From The Youth Climate Movement:

Bill C-311, the Climate Change Accountability Act is the closest thing to effective climate legislation in Canada, and it needs to move to the third reading before it can be law (i.e. legally binding emission reduction targets).  A surprise motion in the House of Commons has made April 14th a crucial date for the bill, and on Wednesday there will be a vote as to whether or not it should move to the Third and final reading.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with Canadian politics, here are some of the basics:

  • There are five parties in government (listed in order of decreasing number of seats in the House of Commons):
    • The Conservative Party (Stephen Harper is the leader)
    • The Liberal Party (Michael Ignatieff is the leader)
    • The Bloc Quebecois (Gilles Duceppe)
    • The New Democratic Party (Jack Layton is the leader)
  • The Conservative party has typically voted unanimously AGAINST the Climate Change Accountability Act
  • The NDP, Bloc, and Greens have typically voted unanimously FOR the Climate Change Accountability Act
  • The Liberals have wavering support (it depends on who is being paid off by the oil companies…my bias)

So what are we gonna do? Target those swinging Liberals!

Folks are calling their Liberal MPs (and Liberal MPs who are not their MPs) and telling them that they need to go to parliament on the 14th and vote to move Bill C-311 to its third reading.  The bill would commit Canada to legally-binding emission reduction targets:  25% below 1990 levels by the year 2020 (which is the lower end of the range that the IPCC is asking for), and long term targets of 80% below 1990 levels by the year 2050.

With the G8 and G20 meetings happening in Toronto this June 25-27th, all eyes are going to be on Canada. The government already embarrassed us in Copenhagen, and we cannot let them do it on our own turf. Don’t Kill Bill.

If you would like to send a letter to all party leaders, visit The Council of Canadians’ Action Alert

For a list of Liberal MPs (and other party MPs) who voted for and against the bill, visit THIS MAGICAL SITE!

For more info, visit http://ourclimate.ca ou visitez http://notreclimate.ca

For information about what community and citizen groups are doing during the G8/G20 visit:

Toronto Community Mobilization Network: http://g20.torontomobilize.org/

People’s Summit: http://peoplessummite2010.ca

G20 Youth Climate Convergence: cycc.convergence@gmail.com