OTTAWA, Dec. 10 /CNW Telbec/ - Canadians from coast to coast to coast are united and taking part in climate actions this weekend demanding that the government take concrete measures to reduce emissions to stem climate change. Canada is joining millions of citizens in over 130 countries as part of 'The World Wants a Real Deal' global day of action coordinated by the Tck Tck Tck campaign to urge world leaders to take bold and immediate steps to sign a fair, ambitious and binding climate deal in Copenhagen.
"Canadian citizens have planned and registered more climate action events per capita than any other country," said Graham Saul, Executive Director of the Climate Action Network Canada. "Considering the numbers of people coming out and voicing their concerns on December 12th there is clearly a mandate here for real progress on climate change and this government is not in line with the interests of most Canadians."
Over three hundred events have been registered in cities and towns across Canada with large national rallies planned in Toronto, Vancouver, Ottawa and Montreal. "The Toronto Climate Campaign is calling for Canada to support a deal that includes binding emission targets for developed nations, a global plan to cap total emissions at a level which would prevent the world from exceeding a temperature rise of 2 degrees Celsius, and commit developed nations to provide finance and technology transfers to assist developing nations with their mitigation and adaptation efforts," said John Bell, member of the Toronto Climate Campaign.
A Harris-Decima poll released just this week shows only 16% of Canadians think we're a respected leader on climate change, indicating a full 84% think this government is failing on the environment. Meanwhile, the World Meteorological Organization, a United Nations weather agency, recently reported that the year 2009 is likely to be the warmest on record going back to 1850, while noting that the Arctic sea ice's extent during the melt season ranked the third lowest, after the lowest and second-lowest records set in 2007 and 2008, respectively. According to the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), there will be 150 million 'climate refugees' by 2050 if global temperatures continue to rise unabated.
Young Canadians have taken critical leadership in organizing events, engaging civil society and demanding climate justice, "It is amazing to experience Canadian Youth stepping up to protect our future, filling the gap left by our leaders who are letting us down," said Courtney Quinn, of the Canadian Youth Climate Coalition (CYCC).
Hundreds of thousands of people are attending rallies to send messages, post their photos and sign their names on message walls in support of a real deal. Thousands more are hosting candlelight vigils in every corner of the planet to stand in hope and solidarity with climate victims and those vulnerable to climate change.
This global mandate comes at the mid-point of the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen. Thus far, the Canadian government has been considered a laggard in the negotiations earning the not so prestigious 'Fossil of the Day Award' on numerous occasions. The unprecedented numbers of rallies and actions show a growing and united movement with one clear demand: The world wants a real deal!
Toronto: "Sign The Real Deal" Wall and Vigil
When: 3pm - 7:30pm, December 12, 2009
Where: University of Toronto, Earth Sciences Building, 33 Wilcocks
Description: CAN is partnering with the Toronto Climate Campaign to host
an indoor rally from 3pm to 5.30pm. The indoor rally will include
speakers, bands, face-painting, and live report backs from
representatives attending the Copenhagen treaty negotiations. People will
also have the opportunity to write a personal message stating what they
want the world's leaders to agree to in Copenhagen on a massive
8-foot-high 10-foot-long wall. Following the event, from 6pm to 6:45pm we
will march with candles to Queens Park, University and Wellesley Avenues,
Toronto, Ontario M5H2N2.
At 7pm we will hold a candlelit vigil at Queens Park, Toronto.
The event is cosponsored by the Toronto Climate Campaign.
Contact: Jess Bell, Climate Action Network, 416 937 0076, jbell@
Vancouver: "The World Wants a Real Deal"
When: 11am - 5pm, December 12, 2009
Where: Vancouver Public Library, Central Branch Promenade. 350 West
Georgia St, Vancouver
Description: Join people at the Vancouver Public Library Central Branch
for a full day of climate action including a panel discussion with Ashley
Webster, Andrea Reimer, Emily Chan and Paul Lock, a message wall where
people can write their personal messages saying what they want the
world's leaders to agree to in Copenhagen, music, kids programming,
speakers, theatre, a candle-light vigil, and more.
Contact: Sean Devlin, Climate Action Network, 604-630-8710, sdevlin@
Ottawa: Candlelight Vigil and Christmas Carol Singing
When: 6pm - 8pm, December 12, 2009
Where: Meeting at the Human Rights Monument on the corner of Elgin and
Lisgar Streets, Ottawa.
Description: 6pm - 6:20pm Candlelight Vigil at the Human Rights Monument
on the corner of Elgin and Lisgar Streets, Ottawa.
6:30pm - 7pm Christmas carol singing at Parliament Hill, Ottawa
The event is sponsored by the Polaris Institute and Oxfam Canada.
Contact: Sarah Saskia-Jane, Climate Action Network, 613 889 8161
Montreal: Let's save Santa Claus and the North Pole
When: 2pm - 3pm, December 12, 2009
Where: Square Phillips, corner of Sainte-Catherine Street and Phillips
Description: Family activity where people are invited to make their wish
to Santa for the future of the planet and save Santa Claus who may soon
be a climate refugee.
Contact: Arthur Sandborn, 514-235-5955, Quebec Kyoto
For more information on local Canadian events and December 12 please
SOURCE CLIMATE ACTION NETWORK CANADA
For further information: For further information: Michael Bernard, Communications Coordinator, Climate Action Network Canada, firstname.lastname@example.org, (w) (613) 241-4413, (c) (613) 302-9933; Éveline Trudel-Fugère, Équiterre-Montréal, email@example.com, (514) 605-2000; Hannah McKinnon, Climate Action Network Canada, firstname.lastname@example.org, +45 2553 6081; Marie-Ève Roy, Équiterre, email@example.com, +45 4163 3795