Five Greenpeace activists were arrested this morning following an almost three-hour-long peaceful protest at the Prime Minister's official residence. They were were protesting Harper's refusal to honour Canada's legally binding global commitments on climate change under the Kyoto Protocol (which really isn't asking a hell of a lot).
"It is urgent that Mr. Harper keep Canada's legal commitment to the world
to fight global warming as part of Kyoto," said Dave Martin, Greenpeace
Canada's energy coordinator. "Global warming's impact on people and our
economy will be catastrophic. Canada is legally bound to act. Greenpeace
activists were arrested, but the real crime is the failure to fight global
Prime Minister Harper once called the Kyoto accord a "socialist scheme" designed to suck money out of rich countries, according to a letter leaked Tuesday by the Canada Liberal Party.
The letter, posted on the federal Liberal party website, was apparently written by Harper in 2002, when he was leader of the now-defunct Canadian Alliance party.
He was writing to party supporters, asking for money as he prepared to fight then-prime minister Jean Chrétien on the proposed Kyoto accord.
He writes that it's based on "tentative and contradictory scientific evidence" and it focuses on carbon dioxide, which is "essential to life."
God save us all from climate deniers like this.
The following comes from Greenpeace Canada.
Greenpeace targets Harper for climate crimes
Ottawa, Canada — Before the federal budget was presented to Parliament, Greenpeace activists today put Prime Minister Stephen Harper under house arrest for climate crimes. Early this morning, Greenpeace activists padlocked themselves to the gates of 24 Sussex Drive, preventing the Prime Minister from going to work to undermine the Kyoto Protocol. Banners branded Harper a “climate criminal”.
“The refusal of the Harper government to honour Kyoto violates Canada’s commitment to the world, and is a crime against the planet,” charged Dave Martin, Greenpeace Canada Energy Coordinator. “By abandoning Kyoto, the Harper government is undermining international efforts to curtail emissions, and exposing millions of people to the dangerous impacts of climate change.”
Prime Minister Harper has falsely called Kyoto unachievable, claiming we don’t have the technology to meet Kyoto targets. However, a recent report by Greenpeace and the European Renewable Energy Council entitled Energy [R]evolution: A Sustainable World Energy Outlook, shows that global greenhouse gas emissions can be cut in half by 2050, while providing a secure energy supply and maintaining economic development.
“Canada already has the green energy technology to build a carbon-free future – we are only lacking political will,” said Martin. “Prime Minister Harper is representing the interests of the tar sands, not the Canadian people.”
The government’s claim that meeting our Kyoto target will cause economic hardship is also false. Former World Bank chief economist Sir Nicholas Stern has said the climate change can be mitigated by spending only one per cent of global Gross Domestic Product per year. Failure to act will cost 20 times more.
“A green economy is a prosperous economy. Acting on global warming will put people to work. Delay will have huge economic and environmental costs,” Martin added.
To prevent dangerous climate change, Greenpeace has called on the Harper government to start by meeting it Kyoto commitment — a 6 per cent reduction from 1990 levels by 2012. Canada and other industrial nations must then achieve even deeper emissions reductions from 1990 levels — 30 per cent by 2020 and 80 per cent by 2050.
For more information, please contact:
Dave Martin, Greenpeace Energy Coordinator, cell: 416-627-5004.
Jane Story, Greenpeace Communications, cell: 416-930-9055