October 19, 2018
Talk is Cheap: UBCIC Demands Real Action on Climate Change from Federal Government
(Coast Salish Territory/Vancouver, B.C. – October 19, 2018) The Union of BC Indian Chiefs (UBCIC) calls shame on the Federal Government for the pitiful debate held in response to the International Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) report, released October 8th.
The IPCC report clarifies that unless urgent measures are taken, global warming will surpass 1.5C with dire circumstances for the environment and for humanity. The government debate elicited cowardly responses from those in power, making it clear that their heads remain stuck in the sand.
“The world’s best scientists are telling us that we have merely 12 years to reduce emissions to below 45% of 2010 levels, and yet Prime Minister Trudeau thinks this is a good time to buy a pipeline? This is not complacency, this is dangerous, deliberate denial and it will come with severe and deadly consequences,” stated Grand Chief Stewart Phillip, President of the Union of BC Indian Chiefs. “Expanding fossil fuel extraction and protecting our environment do not go hand in hand, they are completely oppositional ideas. The time for bold action is passing you by Mr. Trudeau, we completely reject the idea that wealthy Canadians including yourself think they can hide from the effects of extreme climate change behind their pocketbooks.”
“This year the Fraser River was so warm our precious wild salmon could barely reach their spawning grounds,” stated Chief Bob Chamberlin, Vice-President of the UBCIC. “We know the world is changing rapidly, and we know that Indigenous peoples’ food security is already at risk because of the bullheaded pursuit of oil and gas by the Canadian government and big business. We aren’t looking for empty debates, we are looking for an immediate government statement acknowledging that we are in a climate crisis and taking urgent measures that are adequately funded, as recommended by the IPCC report.”
Kukpi7 Judy Wilson, Secretary-Treasurer of the UBCIC, urged “Canada’s climate colonialism must halt now! Our Indigenous cultures and communities are closely tied to the land, plants and animals of our territories. More than anyone else, Indigenous peoples worldwide are impacted by the changing climate; the last two seasons of flooding and wildfires, the worst in BC’s history— are now the new norm. Not only do we feel the effects first hand, but when we step up and defend our territories and our inherent human rights tied to those territories, we are criminalized. First and foremost, Trudeau’s government must figure out what they are going to do with that pipeline they’ve bought, because there is no way they can expand the tar sands if they are going to address climate change.”
Grand Chief Stewart Phillip, President