Update on TMX pipeline and climate ambition summit

Published by Brent Patterson on

Thank you for supporting our urgent action petitions. Our most recent ones, Canada must uphold Indigenous rights at the Climate Ambition Summit and Help stop the criminalization of Secwepemc land defenders, generated hundreds of emails to the Prime Minister.

This is a brief update on those actions.

In a 98-second pre-recorded video played at the Climate Ambition Summit on December 12, Prime Minister Trudeau stated: “We will raise our emission reduction ambitions. And in partnership with provinces and territories, we as a country will strive for the upper end of a range of 32 to 40 per cent below 2005 levels by 2030.”

If he were to have used the more common global baseline of 1990 levels, that promise equates to a 17.7 to 27.4 per cent reduction by 2030. In comparison, the European Union has pledged to reduce their carbon emissions by 55 per cent below 1990 levels by 2030.

Significantly, the Prime Minister did not include in his message, as we had asked, to note that four land and environmental defenders have been killed every week since the Paris climate summit five years ago and that the protection of frontline activists is crucial.

Just a few weeks before the Climate Ambition Summit, many of you had also asked the Crown corporation that owns the Trans Mountain pipeline to speak to the United Nations resolution calling on Canada to stop the construction of the pipeline until free, prior and informed consent had been granted by the Secwepemc peoples.

The CEO of Trans Mountain did not respond to that question at the Crown corporation’s virtual annual meeting on November 17.

Significantly, after a two-week safety shut down in December, construction on the Trans Mountain pipeline was set to resume yesterday, Monday January 4.

In their media release on this Trans Mountain noted: “Next year, 2021, will see peak construction for the Project, with thousands of people working in hundreds of sites across Alberta and British Columbia.”

This remains a serious concern given 518 kilometres of this 1,150 kilometre pipeline is set to cross unceded Secwepemc territory without their consent. This creates a situation in which the Secwepemc defending their land and water from this unwanted megaproject will face continued risk and criminalization.

As the new year begins, we ask that you continue to follow these issues with us. There will be many more moments when our solidarity is needed.

We will also be closely following the lead-up to the UN COP26 climate summit in Scotland this coming November 1-12.

Climate breakdown is a massive threat to human rights, and we continue to assert that global forums such as COP26 must do more to address the security situation of human rights defenders given the crucial role they play in protecting vital ecosystems.

For daily updates on these issues and more from the countries where we accompany frontline defenders, please see our website, Facebook page and Twitter feed.

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