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UPDATE: Eight Nobel Peace Laureates call on Harper to take action on the tar sands

A media release just issued notes, “Eight Nobel Peace Laureates – including Archbishop Desmond Tutu (South Africa), Jody Williams (USA), President Ramos Horta (Timor) and Shirin Ebadi (Iran) – today sent a letter to Prime Minister Stephen Harper calling on him to ensure that Canada moves towards a clean energy future—and halts the expansion of the tar sands. …The letter comes two days after Canadians from across the country gathered on Parliament Hill in Ottawa to risk arrest in an act of nonviolent civil disobedience to protest the rapid expansion of the tar sands and Prime Minister Harper’s inaction on climate change. The Laureates recognize the power of peaceful civil disobedience in advancing many of the great moral challenges in human history.”

In their letter, the Nobel Peace Laureates state, “There are already powerful signs of progress in the fight against climate change in Canada. The Province of Ontario, for instance, is on course to phase out the use of coal by 2014 and has adopted what is probably the single most effective piece of legislation promoting renewable energy in North America. This kind of action takes vision and know-how—and shows the strong potential for Canada to be a world leader in tackling climate change.” It is notable that Ontario’s Green Energy Act is now subject to a World Trade Organization challenge by Japan and the European Union, http://canadians.org/blog/?p=9301.

The media release also notes, “Two weeks ago, the Laureates also wrote to US President Barack Obama, calling upon him to reject the permit for a pipeline that would bring tar sands oil from Alberta through the US to the Gulf of Mexico. The Natural Resources Defense Council, a prominent US environmental group, recently published the letter as a full-page ad in the Washington Post and the New York Times.”

“Both letters were coordinated by the Nobel Women’s Initiative, an Ottawa-based organization created by women Nobel Peace Laureates to support women around the world working on climate justice and other issues related to peace and security.”

To read the media release and the full letter, http://nobelwomensinitiative.org/2011/09/nobel-peace-laureates-call-on-harper-to-stop-tar-sands-expansion/?ref=204. To read more about our action on Parliament Hill on Monday, http://canadians.org/.