Canadian Minister and Shell embarrassed over tar sands at climate conference
Today at a high-level conference on climate change at Chatham House, London, two activists interrupted first Peter Kent, Canada's Environment Minister, then Shell's UK Chairman Graham van't Hoff, as they got up to make speeches. There was laughter at the tongue-in-cheek speeches which referred to Kent as an "agent from a rogue petro-state" and Shell as "world-class greenwashers", and the audience listened attentively for several minutes, before the activists were removed by security.
The first activist used the Canadian Government's own words against them, calling them 'foreign radicals' who were 'interfering with the regulatory structures' of Europe to pursue their 'radical ideological agenda' of tar sands expansion, and asked for Kent to be removed from the stage.
The second activist then rose as Graham van't Hoff was about to speak. She accused Shell of trying to gain green kudos by sponsoring the conference, while lobbying against effective national and international climate action. Shell is one of the largest operators in the tar sands and plans to double its production despite a legal challenge from the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation who claim their treaty rights have been violated. She too was removed by security.
Earlier that morning, campaigners from the UK Tar Sands Network staged a dramatic piece of street theatre outside Chatham House. Conference attendees, including Peter Kent himself, were greeted by the disturbing spectacle of black-clad masked figures representing Canada and Shell literally 'strangling' climate activists. The campaigners handed out flyers and spoke to the conference attendees, questioning whether genuine solutions to climate change that would end our dependence on fossil fuels, promote climate justice and penalise highly-carbon-intensive companies could really be on the table for discussion at an event sponsored by Shell and featuring Peter Kent as a keynote speaker.
For the full story, see http://www.no-tar-sands.org/2012/10/activists-disrupt-speeches-by-canadian-mi..