Embarrassed by their country’s stance on climate change, Canada’s young people cooked up a plan to get their government’s attention, late last week.
They say they have tried meeting politicians, written letters, staged friendly protests and attempted to meet Canadian negotiators at the Cop17 Climate Change Conference in Durban to get their message across, but all to no avail.
“Now we are going to speak their language, which is money,” said Malcolm Boothroyd, spokesman for the 18-strong Canadian youth delegation at the conference.
The delegates, who say Canada has “one of the worst records on climate change in the world” decided to hold a bake (cake) sale at their exhibition stand to raise funds to compete with Canada’s big polluters and to “buy back their future”.
Boothroyd said, “Corporate lobbyists have been extremely successful in pushing the Canadian government to adopt their agency. If their money talks, why can’t ours?”
The delegation made “bitumen balls” to raise money while their counterparts in Canada sent letters containing small change to Prime Minister Stephen Harper, urging the government to put people before polluters. It is part of the Canadian Youth Climate Coalition’s campaign to raise awareness of the oil industry’s influence over Canada’s climate policies.
“… Unfortunately, we do not receive $1.4bn oil and gas subsidies to help our cause,” he said.
The delegation says: “Canada’s international climate policy promotes the expansion of the oil industry, lobbies for foreign investment in the tar sands (the largest single industrial project on Earth), and supports insufficient, non-binding emissions reductions.”