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Canadian Government’s visit to London greeted by Tar Sands protests

March 17, 2010



A high-level delegation from Canada were greeted this morning by protesters with banners that read: “Canadian Tar Sands – Climate Crime”, outside Canada House in Trafalgar Square. The protest, on Thursday 18 March, is part of a growing campaign by UK groups against the tremendous human and ecological devastation caused by extracting oil from Canada’s tar sands – and is taking place in solidarity with First Nations and Canadian environmental justice organizations. The Canadian delegation is being hosted by UK Trade and Investment, a government department that exists to promote the interests of British industry.

“The Canadian and British governments should know that people in the UK are very concerned about the tar sands,” said Alice Hargreaves of the UK Tar Sands Network which has organised the protest along with members of Rising Tide and Camp for Climate Action. “The tar sands are the world’s most destructive project. Canada is ripping up an area larger than England, creating sprawling toxic lakes and ever-expanding carbon emissions. This environmental horror story is violating indigenous peoples’ rights – they are losing their traditional ways of life, and some are getting cancer from the pollution. The tar sands is a project that needs to be stopped, yet British companies like Shell, BP and RBS are involved, and with this event, UK Trade and Investment is actively promoting further British involvement.”

The Canadian government is on a multi-country tar sands promotion tour, seeking to ease the growing concerns of investors, by arguing that ‘carbon capture and storage’ (CCS) technology can reduce the enormous amount of carbon emissions caused by tar sands extraction. Yet this unproven technology can never ‘green’ the tar sands, argue the protesters, and the delegation has already met with similar protests in Norway

“Carbon capture in the tar sands is more of a smokescreen than a silver bullet,” said Clayton Thomas-Muller of the Indigenous Environmental Network. “It is an untested, expensive, long-lead-time technology that has more holes than it does solutions. Only a small portion of carbon emissions from the tar sands can ever be captured using CCS, and it will not prevent the destruction of the boreal forest, or the pollution flowing into local water systems. Our governments shouldn’t be fostering technologies that allow toxic developments like the tar sands to continue, but should be investing in protecting the health of all our communities and building a green, just economy for the future.”

(North America) Clayton Thomas-Muller

Indigenous Environmental Network- 001-613 789 5653


(UK) Suzanne Dhaliwal of the UK Tar Sands Network: Phone: 07530415274


2 Comments leave one →
  1. ShutItDown permalink
    March 18, 2010 3:20 pm

    Well said Clayton!

    This green wash doesn’t stick.


  1. “Canadian Government’s visit to London greeted by Tar Sands protests” « Climate Justice Links

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