Quantcast

236 Civil Society Groups to Justin Trudeau: 'The Time for Investment in New Fossil Fuel Infrastructure Is Over'

Energy
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau at World Bank Group headquarters during Trudeau's first official visit to Washington, DC in March 2016. Franz Mahr / World Bank / CC BY 2.0

By Andy Rowell

With just over a week to go until the May 31 deadline set by Kinder Morgan for the Canadian Government to resolve all financial and political issues surrounding its highly controversial Trans Mountain pipeline, some 236 civil society groups from 44 countries have written to Justin Trudeau to tell him to drop his support for the project.

Kinder Morgan's Trans Mountain Pipeline will triple the amount of dirty tar sands being shipped from Alberta to the coast of British Columbia.


The pipeline has become the most toxic Canadian political issue of the day, with Trudeau's government saying they will underwrite losses incurred by Kinder Morgan in their desperation to see the dirty pipeline be built.

Since that announcement for financial support on May 16, there has been growing national and international hostility to the plan.

Just in the last 24 hours, for example, award-winning Canadian journalist Andrew Nikiforuk said that Trudeau was being held "hostage" by Kinder Morgan. "The Trudeau federal government has made itself a pathetic hostage to a Texas-based pipeline company known for its cheapness and debt," he wrote Wednesday.

Also on Wednesday, some 200 youths from a number of Vancouver schools walked out of class to protest the government's support for the pipeline. "This is a chance to show our elected leaders and Kinder Morgan that our lands, livelihoods and future are more important than a pipeline," said Ta'Kaiya Blaney from Vancouver. And finally on Wednesday, protesters unveiled banners at the Canadian Embassy in Washington, DC, saying, "Canadian Leaders Don't Build Pipelines."

And that banner refers to a simple climate circle that Trudeau can't square, however much he tries to spin it otherwise: Trudeau has signed up to the Paris climate goals, but the amount of carbon that would be transported and ultimately burnt by the Trans Mountain Pipeline means that Canada would miss those goals.

As the letter outlines: "Canada has been a vocal champion of the Paris Agreement and ambitious climate action, and under your leadership, Canada has finally signed the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples."

It continues: "However, your unwavering support for the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline expansion runs counter to both of these commitments and undermines Canada's role as a global leader."

"Climate leaders cannot expand or finance major fossil fuel expansion, and climate leaders must begin to plan for a managed phase-out and just transition away from all fossil fuel production," says the letter.

The letter, signed by the likes of Amazon Watch, Asian Peoples' Movement on Debt and Development, Center for International Environmental Law, Christian Aid, The Climate Reality Project, Council of Canadians, Friends of the Earth International, Greenpeace, Hip Hop Caucus, Indigenous Environmental Network, Natural Resources Defense Council, Oil Change International, Physicians for Social Responsibility, Rainforest Action Network, Sierra Club, SumOfUs.org, Union of British Columbia Indian Chiefs, Wilderness Committee, and 350.org, says that financing the pipeline "with public money, as your government has suggested, is particularly offensive in the face of the global climate crisis."

The letter goes on to say: "As global organizations deeply concerned about the climate, communities, workers, and Indigenous Rights, we stand in solidarity with those who oppose the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline. We also support communities along the proposed pipeline and tanker routes who are standing up to protect the land, the coast, and the ocean from the risks of spills and other damage".

It points out that Canada should be leading the world in a "managed decline" of fossil fuels and transition to clean energy. "The time for investment in new fossil fuel infrastructure is over," say the signatories, before ending with: "We urge you to reconsider your support for this project, and instead work to make Canada the climate leader that it should be."

Leila Salazar-López, executive director of Amazon Watch, said, "We stand with our indigenous brothers and sisters in the North in their efforts to protect their territories from the Kinder Morgan Pipeline and other destructive fossil fuel infrastructure. It is past time for governments—including the Canadian government—to respect UNDRIP [United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples] and begin a managed decline of fossil fuel extraction. Our collective futures depend on it."

May Boeve, executive director of 350.org added, "The Kinder Morgan pipeline threatens to pollute clean air and water, violate the rights of First Nations, and lock us into climate-wrecking fossil fuel extraction. Justin Trudeau has spoken about justice for Indigenous people and addressing climate change, but his actions are miles behind his words. At the end of the day, you cannot be a climate leader while supporting fossil fuel pipelines."

Reposted with permission from our media associate Oil Change International.

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Scanning electron micrograph of Yersinia pestis, which causes bubonic plague, on proventricular spines of a Xenopsylla cheopis flea. NIAID / Flickr / CC BY 2.0

A middle-aged married couple in China was diagnosed with pneumonic plague, a highly infectious disease similar to bubonic plague, which ravaged Europe in the middle ages, as CNN reported.

Read More Show Less
Milk made from almonds, oats and coconut are among the healthiest alternatives to cow's milk. triocean / iStock / Getty Images Plus

Dairy aisles have exploded with milk and milk alternative options over the past few years, and choosing the healthiest milk isn't just about the fat content.

Whether you're looking beyond cow's milk for health reasons or dietary preferences or simply want to experiment with different options, you may wonder which type of milk is healthiest for you.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
Greta Thunberg stands aboard the catamaran La Vagabonde as she sets sail to Europe in Hampton, Virginia, on Nov. 13. NICHOLAS KAMM / AFP via Getty Images

Greta Thunberg, the teenage climate activist whose weekly school strikes have spurred global demonstrations, has cut short her tour of the Americas and set sail for Europe to attend COP25 in Madrid next month, as The New York Times reported.

Read More Show Less
The Lake Delhi Dam in Iowa failed in 2010. VCU Capital News Service / Josh deBerge / FEMA

At least 1,688 dams across the U.S. are in such a hazardous condition that, if they fail, could force life-threatening floods on nearby homes, businesses, infrastructure or entire communities, according to an in-depth analysis of public records conducted by the the Associated Press.

Read More Show Less

By Sabrina Kessler

Far-reaching allegations about how a climate-sinning American multinational could shamelessly lie to the public about its wrongdoing mobilized a small group of New York students on a cold November morning. They stood in front of New York's Supreme Court last week to follow the unprecedented lawsuit against ExxonMobil.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored

By Alex Robinson

Leah Garcés used to hate poultry farmers.

The animal rights activist, who opposes factory farming, had an adversarial relationship with chicken farmers until around five years ago, when she sat down to listen to one. She met a poultry farmer called Craig Watts in rural North Carolina and learned that the problems stemming from factory farming extended beyond animal cruelty.

Read More Show Less
People navigate snow-covered sidewalks in the Humboldt Park neighborhood on Nov. 11 in Chicago. Scott Olson / Getty Images

Temperatures plunged rapidly across the U.S. this week and around 70 percent of the population is expected to experience temperatures around freezing Wednesday.

Read More Show Less
A general view of the flooded St. Mark's Square after an exceptional overnight "Alta Acqua" high tide water level, on Nov. 13 in Venice. MARCO BERTORELLO / AFP / Getty Images

Two people have died as Venice has been inundated by the worst flooding it has seen in more than 50 years, The Guardian reported Wednesday.

Read More Show Less