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Council of Canadians taking action in Cancun and Canada

The Council of Canadians was in Copenhagen last year during the UN climate negotiations and attended the influential People’s Conference in Cochabamba, Bolivia.  While Copenhagen negotiations failed to produce a strong international agreement, the global movement for climate justice has grown dramatically.

The Council of Canadians continues to be an active member of this movement. Under our Climate of Change: Climate Justice for People and the Planet campaign, we are taking action in Cancun and in Canada.

Council of Canadians National Chairperson Maude Barlow, staff members Brent Patterson, Anil Naidoo, Emma Lui, Board member Leticia Adair and I will be in Mexico for the negotiations. The Council’s team will provide updates on negotiations inside the conference, and organize and participate in events and climate justice movement activities happening outside.

To track our actions in Cancun, check back regularly to our new Cancun, climate justice now webpage.

Some highlights:

Brent Patterson and I are joining an international caravan marking the start of the next major round of UN climate negotiations. The caravans are being organized by the National Assembly of People Affected by the Environment and the international peasant’s movement La Via Campesina. They aim to connect local struggles to the global climate crisis, root causes of this crisis and need for transformative change.

Along the caravan route, Brent and I will be joining other Canadian delegates in hand delivering an open letter to affected communities on the failure of the Canadian government to pass Bill C-300. It will be delivered in San Luis Potosi where community members have been engaged in a long struggle againt the Canadian Gold Corp over devastating environmental impacts of a mine. We’ll be sure to blog and send pictures from the caravan.

The Council of Canadians is also involved in coordinating a number of events at the alternative spaces in Cancun including a panel and workshop on the rights of mother earth, a workshop screening a new documentary on Inuit knowledge and climate change that aims to build international solidarity against offshore drilling in the arctic, and a roundtable on a global referendum on climate change (a key conclusion from the Cochabamba conference).

We will also be participating in a large demonstration for environmental and social justice in Mexico City on November 30th carrying our Climate of Change: Climate Justice for People and the Planet banner signed by many Council members at our recent AGM, as well as a large demonstration on December 7th.

Maude will be joining a high profile panel with Bill McKibben of 350.org and international labour leaders on Building a Broad Labour and Climate Justice Alliance and we will be participating in the water panel and workshops at the Dialogo Climatico-Espacio, an important alternative space.

On the “inside” where negotiations are happening, Anil will be participating in a side event speaking to water justice as it connects to the climate crisis. We will also be attending meetings featuring report-backs from the Canadian negotiator, Guy Saint-Jacques, monitoring and responding to the Canadian government’s role in the negotiations.