Despite the cancellation of the Nov. 29 march in Paris, the world will still be marching for climate justice on that day.
Nicolas Haeringer, a Paris-based 350.org campaigner, has stated, “The [French] government can prohibit these demonstrations [in our country], but our voices will not be silenced. ...We encourage everyone around the world to join a Global Climate March and raise their voices louder than ever. There’s never been a greater need."
At this point, we know of at least 24 Council of Canadians chapters that will take part in actions on Nov. 29. The Mid-Island, Powell River, Terrace, Delta-Richmond, Victoria, Campbell River, Cowichan Valley, Comox Valley, Vancouver-Burnaby, Kamloops, Northwest Territories, Brandon, Edmonton, Winnipeg, Saskatoon, London, Hamilton, Guelph, Thunder Bay, Sudbury and Saint John chapters will march in their communities, while the Ottawa, Peterborough and Montreal chapters will be in Ottawa for a march to Parliament Hill. The Inverness County chapter will take part in a water ceremony to honour Lake Ainslie, a large freshwater lake that had been threatened by fracking. And a member of our Sudbury chapter will be carrying our banner at the Nov. 29 climate march in Quito, Ecuador.
The Council of Canadians will also have a contingent in Paris following the critical COP 21 climate talks including chairperson Maude Barlow, trade campaigner Sujata Dey, Prairies-NWT organizer Diane Connors and Blue Planet Project organizer Claudia Campero Arena. That summit runs from Nov. 30 to Dec. 11.
We have already been critical of the Trudeau government going to Paris without an emission reduction target. The COP 20 climate agreement reached last year in Lima stipulated that countries would submit their targets in advance of the Paris summit. The United Nations has announced that 168 countries, covering almost 90 per cent of global emissions, have submitted their national climate targets. The Trudeau government has said it's using the Harper government's (weak) target of 14 per cent below 1990 levels by 2030 as a floor for their target to be determined later next year.
In terms of the prospects for COP 21, a United Nations report now concedes that actions announced to date will only keep the rise in global temperature to between 2.7 and 3 degrees Celsius. Earlier this week, foreign affairs minister Stephane Dion commented that, "If you compare with what the science is asking us to do, it’s very unlikely that Paris will deliver a two-degree-Celsius agreement. But if we have no agreement we may go to three or four [degrees]. So 2.7 is not what the science is asking us to do. It’s fair to say that we need to do much more."
That's an understatement to say the least.
We have stated that the Trudeau government could begin by rejecting the Energy East and TransMountain pipelines.
Unfortunately, Dion has stated, "We support [Energy East] … but we want that to be done properly and it will be difficult to do if we don’t strengthen the process itself, the process of consultation with communities and the process of scientific environmental assessment." And he has commented, "We didn’t say we will close the shop and then we will not have any pollution. We believe in development but it must be sustainable, including for the oil sands. It’s a challenge but we’ll do it with the industry, with the province of Alberta, we’ll do it altogether, we have no choice."
Nov. 29 is a great opportunity to demand better.
A 100% clean economy is not only possible, it is necessary.
For more about the 100% possible marches, please click here.
For more on our energy and climate justice campaign, click here.