Monday, December 7, 2009

Greenpeace taking it to the man

On the opening day of United Nations climate change summit in Copenhagen, nineteen Greenpeace activists breached security and occupied roofs on Ottawa's Parliament buildings to protest the lack of serious commitment and action of Prime Minister Harper and Opposition Leader Michael Ignatieff to curb the ongoing climate crisis. Harper and Ignatieff were specifically targeted for their inability to endorse legally binding, science-based targets which will lead to significant cuts in greenhouse gas emissions. The protesters used two 12 x 7 metre banners on the West Block of Parliament which said: "Harper/Ignatieff: Climate Inaction Costs Lives" Banners calling for an end to the tar sands development were also hoisted at the East Block and across entrances.

Mike Hudema, a Greenpeace climate and energy campaigner, was one of those on the West Block roof:

Harper and Ignatieff are failing to take seriously the staggering human tragedy of the climate crisis. Hundreds of thousands of people die every year and millions more are displaced because Canada and other developed counties don’t take action on climate change. The Global Humanitarian Forum warns that this is just the beginning of the human tragedy of climate chaos.

Christy Ferguson, a Greenpeace climate and energy campaign coordinator, was also present at the protest:

Harper says he only supports modest reduction targets, Ignatieff has issued his climate thoughts without any reduction targets at all. It’s unacceptable for them to ignore the demand from Canadians for action. It is time Harper and Ignatieff stopped serving the interests of the dirty oil industry in the tar sands and helped lead the way to a just and ambitious climate agreement in Copenhagen. Millions of lives depend on climate action.

This is the fifth major protest Greenpeace has undertaken since September to highlight a lack of urgency regarding climate change by the federal government, as well as Alberta's tar sands development and the effect that development is having on our climate. Greenpeace and over one hundred other organizations have mobilized 150,000 Canadians through the KYOTOplus campaign, and are demanding action from the Harper government to curb the potential disastrous consequences of not taking the climate crisis seriously. Prime Minister Harper and Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff have ignored requests to sign on to KYOTOplus and listen to the majority of Canadians who want serious action taken on this pressing issue.

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