Civil society delivers powerful messages to Minister Kent in Doha

Environment Minister meets for first time with climate focused civil society 

December 6, 2012

(Doha, Qatar) Today, for the first time since taking the position of Environment Minister, Peter Kent met with climate-focused civil society groups at a UN climate conference. In comparison, since becoming Minister of the Environment Kent has met with the fossil fuel lobby over 48 times. According to one new report, the oil industry has met with federal public office holders 463% more than environmental groups since 2008.

Given that the meeting was held so late into the negotiations in Doha, Qatar, and given the fact that this was the first time climate NGOs have met with Kent, climate NGOs present delivered messages to Peter Kent on behalf of various constituencies; namely, youth, First Nations, faith, vulnerable countries and labour.

Excerpts from the statements include:

“The scientific community urges Ministers not to ignore the evidence; the problem is well defined; we now need to focus on solutions; further delay is not a responsible option.”
– Dr. John Stone, IPCC Scientist

Climate justice requires Canada to “shoulder a greater share of the economic burden because of access to greater means, and our historic role. We have a moral imperative to act.” Be assured of our prayers for wisdom and courage for you and all in Doha.”
– Joy Kennedy, The United Church of Canada

“Minister, by addressing all of the dimensions of sustainability Canada can lead the world out of the climate crisis while ensuring that the transition is fair and just for workers, their families, and the communities that depend on them. Time is short, but the opportunity still exists to give the next generation of Canadians the hope of a decent job and a sustainable future. That great transition must start now.”
– Brian Kohler, IndustriAll Global Union

“Presently, there are no fish left in some rivers and some are completely dry, from climate change and environmental injustices. These are changes my grandfather sees.”
– Mikey Etherington, Aboriginal Youth Initiatives, OFIFC

“We are deeply hurt and in shock with the lack of regard for the rights of our people, who have least contributed to climate change but are facing the worst consequences.”

– Yaaseen Ahmed, Maldivian Youth Climate Network

Civil society back home in Canada were also asked to tweet their questions for Minister Kent using the hashtag #askKent, and these questions were printed off and delivered to him during the meeting in Doha. Over 700 questions were tweeted to the Minister.

The climate NGOs called on the minister to reverse the Canadian government’s obstructionist position and take immediate and ambitious action to address climate change. Canada has again been singled out in Doha for its failure to take meaningful action to support developing countries as they adapt to climate change, a problem they did little to create. Canada remains ranked the worst country in the developed world on action on climate change and has a current tally of 4 fossil of the day awards in Doha.


To view all of the statements, please visit:

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Hannah McKinnon