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Barlow at Leap manifesto event in Paris

Council of Canadians organizer Diane Connors, Maude Barlow and Naomi Klein in Paris

Council of Canadians organizer Diane Connors, Maude Barlow and Naomi Klein in Paris.

Council of Canadians chairperson Maude Barlow was at a Leap manifesto event in Paris on Wednesday (Dec. 2).

At that public forum, Naomi Klein stated, “I refuse to leave our future in the hands of the world leaders cloistered in Le Bourget… We’ve done the math. We know politicians have come to the table with emissions reduction targets that will lead us to an extremely dangerous future, three to four degrees.”

The National Observer reports, “Klein was speaking at a free public event downtown that drew about 500 people away from the summit. The author is promoting her new movement, the ‘Leap Manifesto’ —an attempt to bind together social activist, labour, environmental and indigenous groups to push for greater climate ambition from governments. …[The manifesto is] a philosophical call for action by her ‘political pop up’ organization called This Changes Everything, which is also a book and film. [It] calls for people to support a fully sustainable energy economy in 20 years, in a way that respects Indigenous rights, and against powerful interests that would resist decarbonization.”

The article highlights, “Progressive intellectual Maude Barlow with the Council of Canadians [says] any Paris climate agreement that Canada signs on to could be undone by trade deals such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership. ‘If Canada were to take a real and serious position [on climate change], we would come back and be hit by investor state challenge from all of the American corporations under NAFTA, and all of the Chinese oil and energy corporations operating [in the] tar sands under a similar investor agreement [with China.]’ She said the real battle on climate change is a fight against economic globalization based on unlimited growth. That philosophy ensures that ‘there’s absolutely no forest not to be taken down, no dam not to be built’, warned Barlow.”

Joining Klein and Barlow on the panel were Avi Lewis (filmmaker), Hassan Yussuff (Canadian Labour Congress), Crystal Lameman (Beaver Lake Cree Nation), Christian Poll (Member of Danish Parliament for The Alternative), Martin Lukacs (writer) and others.

Barlow reads a portion of the Leap manifesto at the event in Paris.

At the Sept. 18, 2015 media conference in Toronto that launched the Leap manifesto, a reporter asked, “How do you plan to use and move forward this manifesto?” Barlow responded, “At the grassroots level we have in our organization local activist chapters and they are hungry for this kind of vision and direction. …I think we’ll see it outward [around the world] but I think it will also be dramatically welcomed by grassroots communities around this country.” Since then, chapters have organized more than 22 screenings of the film ‘This Changes Everything’ across the country. Those chapter-organized events have brought together more than 3,500 people to see the film and support the manifesto.

And in the new year, an Alternatives Journal blog notes, “Klein and company are proposing to turn February 29, 2016 (a leap day) into a global day for climate justice where communities around the world release their own manifestos tailored to their needs and adhering to the laws of nature.”

To see a 4-minute video with Klein speaking immediately after the Paris event, please click here.

To sign the Leap manifesto, please click here.