Halifax Media Co-op

News from Nova Scotia's Grassroots

More independent news:
Do you want free independent news delivered weekly? sign up now
Can you support independent journalists with $5? donate today!

G8 is Failing, say Climate Activists

Following the failure of Copenhagen, Nova Scotians draw links to the G8's disproportionate effect on the climate

by David Bush

Halifax climate justice activists urge people to act, arguing the G8 cannot be trusted with the climate.  Photo: Hillary Lindsay
Halifax climate justice activists urge people to act, arguing the G8 cannot be trusted with the climate. Photo: Hillary Lindsay

“What was missing before [Copenhagen] was a people’s movement,” says Emily Rideout, a member of the Sierra Club Atlantic Chapter.

Rideout, who went to the Copenhagen Climate Summit (COP15) in December, says something shifted when the conference produced nothing but an accord with neither binding agreements nor firm targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. “The failure of COP has motivated people. We now have look to ourselves,” she says.

The Nova Scotia Coalition for Climate Action (NSCCA) was formed in the wake of Copenhagen’s failure. Organizations and individuals have come together across the province to demand the government take action on climate change.

The NSSCA and its member organizations are planning a series of events, including a citizens’ forum on climate change in May, in the leadup to the G8/G20 summits in Toronto. “We need to pressure the G8. We need to demand action and provide alternatives,” says NSSCA member Catherine Abreu.

The G8 countries are responsible for seven out of every ten tonnes of carbon that have been emitted since the Industrial Revolution, according to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. Yet it’s “the developing countries that have contributed the least to climate change [who] will suffer the most,” adds Rideout.

Rideout says there is severe underrepresentation of the Global South at international forums such as Copenhagen and the G8 Summit.

Billy Lewis, a Mi’kmaq elder and member of the Interfaith Coalition for Climate Justice, says the G8 doesn’t represent the people of the North or members of his community either. “The G8/G20 are representatives of the world’s major colonial powers,” says Lewis. “We have to stop running around with our begging bowls. We have to empower the powerless, not appeal to the powerful.”

“While climate change is happening on a environmental scale it is ultimately a human problem,” says Catherine Abreu. “We need to highlight the linkages between social issues and climate change.”

Local groups are trying to forge those links by addressing the social impacts of climate change on marginalized and indigenous communities.

Rideout states that the G8/G20 meetings in Canada are a chance for climate activists to reignite the movement for climate justice.

“There wasn’t a political cost for the failure at Copenhagen. We haven’t held them [leaders] to account,” says Rideout. “We have to get people out on the streets.”

David Bush works with the Canadian Youth Climate Coalition in Halifax. 


Upcoming Climate Justice/G8 Events in Halifax:

Climate Rally on Thursday April 22

Thirst for Justice on Saturday April 24

Another World Is Possible March on Sunday April 25

Want more grassroots coverage?
Join the Media Co-op today.
Topics: Environment
427 words


Keep on the great work follow

the climate activists are

the climate activists are doing a great job in watching out what is happening and getting the truth to us.so hats off to them 

The site for the Halifax local of The Media Co-op has been archived and will no longer be updated. Please visit the main Media Co-op website to learn more about the organization.