Part 3: Fossil Fuels, Just Transition
(The story of the November 12th COP 27 Global Day of Climate Justice action in Toronto continued.)
Marching on, with supportive honks from passing traffic propelling us, we came to a stop at Avenue and Bloor. As How-Sen, the narrator of the event livestream put it, “we’re actually going east and west across Bloor Street, stopping at various symbolic places, linking issues that have historically been thought of as separate…and bringing together people from multiple communities….building up this diverse community, building up power.”
Below Left: On the way, we noted a cleverly situated sign on an advertising billboard near the Royal Ontario Museum.
Above Right: The march also paused to welcome spider man! He posed in support of climate justice, endorsing rally attendees as “real Canadian heroes.”
(see full demands here)
Fund a just transition to a zero carbon economy. Protect impacted workers and help countries across the globe leap-frog over fossil fuels.
Carolyn, (TYLC) and president of the Steelworkers’ Union, shared her expertise, saying, “I think as all of us know, there’s a whole range of crises that we are being confronted with. An economic crisis, an environmental crisis, political crisis, the crisis of dictatorship, colonialism, imperialism, and the fight that we have to support of Indigenous sovereignty, workers struggle, the struggle of people like [our Egyptian] comrades, that they fight every day.”
Speaking more about the trade union movement, she explained, “The fact that we have all come together today shows the strength, and I want to say particularly, for those in the trade union movement, this is not a new struggle…. we’ve been involved in this for many, many years. We are fighting for a decent economy, an economy with justice and dignity [for] all, and we are fighting for sure, for decent jobs for everyone….”
She also spoke about solidarity “for the Indigenous Peoples who are fighting for their legacy, for their territory, for their water, everything that has been taken away from them by the colonial regimes that have taken place in this country….”
Reminding us of a recent victory, she said, “I think you should’ve seen last week when Premier Ford was forced to back down by the threat of a general strike. He was forced to back down because the trade union movement came together and [said] that…we will not allow you to fight against the most vulnerable….we showed that we can win, we can push him back. The struggle is not over but that should give inspiration to all of us that the fight we’re involved in, if we come together, if we build that unity, all of us, across the world, internationally and across this country, we can win. It's not always going to be easy, it’s not always going to be fast, but we can win.”
Merv King, member of the bear clan of the Timiskaming First Nations and an activist with the Steelworkers Union, shared a message of solidarity from the amalgamated transit union. It read, “the climate crisis is having the biggest impact on our planet today and the decision makers all across the world are moving at a snail's pace as time is running out to stop the inevitable effects….transit professionals play a significant role in combating carbon emissions….We all know we need to move faster and embrace a just transition that leaves no one behind.”
- join the keep the transit moving coalition that mobilizes Canada wide to “provide safe, reliable, affordable and accessible transit….”
- More at: http://climatevoice.ca/partner-donation-and-action-links/
COP 27 Outcome Summary:
- India and 80 other countries came together to push for the inclusion of a fossil fuel phase down and “oil and gas,” in the final agreement text.
- The push failed; Canada and others didn’t agree.
- The text was further weakened with words like “inefficient” and “rationalize subsidies.”
- COP 27 had the most fossil fuel lobbyists in the summit's history; 600+ fossil fuel lobbyists; CEOs of BP, Shell, Total and Occidental were in attendance.
- “Just Energy Transition Partnership” agreements to get off coal were made with Indonesia and others.
- Renewable deals outnumbered dirty ones.
- Renewables are now the cheapest choice in many countries including Brazil, South Africa, India.
- Attendees recognized that the energy crisis shows the need for an energy transition and accelerated adoption of renewables.
- Emphasis on scaling up renewables unlinked to the phase out of coal, oil and gas.
- It was agreed that the transition must include social protection and solidarity measures like retraining programmes.
- A Just Transition work programme was established with plans for yearly ministerial round tables.
Livestream of the N12 Day of Action
- Climate Change News - What was Decided at COP 27 Climate Talks in Sharm el Sheikh
- The Energy Mix - COP 27 Backs Gas as Low Emission Energy in Final Declaration
- https://gsccnetwork.org/ newsletters
- livismclimate.org - What did COP27 do to address climate justice? By Richard Gorkrun
- iisd.org - Canada Oil Gas Decarbonization Support Unwise
- Environmental Defence - Buyer Beware report
- ctvnews.ca - Climate and Environment, Canada Won't Back Call at COP 27 to Phase Down Oil and Gas Production
- COP27 decisions on Article 6
Continues in the Finale!