Indigenous Environmental Network COP21 Delegation Responds to announcement of Canada’s support of 1.5 Climate Target

For Immediate Release

December 8th, 2015

Contact: Dallas Goldtooth, Indigenous Environmental Network, France: +33 75 1413 823, US: + 708 515-6158,


Indigenous Environmental Network COP21 Delegation Responds to announcement of Canada’s support of 1.5 Climate Target

Paris, France – Indigenous peoples from Canada, U.S. and the world were initially elated to hear that Canada’s Minister of Environment and Climate Change Catherine Mckenna told world leaders in closed-door climate negotiations in Paris Canada supports a position to restrict global warming to 1.5 Celsius endorsing a more ambitious target for cutting greenhouse gases than the 2 degrees goal the UN climate change summit is officially aiming for.

“I shake Canada’s hand for supporting a 1.5 Celsius position. However, the Global Indigenous Peoples Caucus has always argued for a 1.5 degree position. That has never changed.” Tom BK Goldtooth, Executive Director of the Indigenous Environmental Network, a North American-based indigenous organization. “What remains to be seen is how Canada aims to achieve this goal without a commitment to stop the expansion of the Alberta tar sands and its associated pipelines and begin the rapid transition to a renewable economy. This would be the real news and commitment that we want from Canada to deeply commit to responding to the climate crisis.

Trudeau was disappointed with President Obama’s decision to not move ahead with Keystone XL pipeline in November, citing his concerns about the impacts of the decision on the Canadian the economy and job generation. He has not fully outlined a plan for fully moving Canada away from the highly-polluting fossil fuels towards a green economy.

“Canada’s commitment to the 1.5 degree target is a step in the right direction that appears to recognize the urgency of the position we are in now globally with the climate crisis.  If the Canadian government ‘walks its talk,’ it could provide the political circumstance to bring us into the future with the kind of investment we need for the required ‘all-hands-on-deck’ approach we need to stopping melting glaciers and build a justice based renewable energy economy for Canada. This unequivocally means halting  the expansion of the tar sands and associated pipelines like Trans-Canada’s energy east and Kinder Morgans Trans-Mountain. As Indigenous Peoples this is our opportunity to have our wisdom and knowledge heard and offer many solutions to the global climate crisis that do not commodify and threaten the biodiversity we depend on for our livelihood.” Tantoo Cardinal Metis/Cree Actor from Fort Mcmurray, Alberta, Canada

Despite the rhetoric coming from Trudeau the government of Canada seems determined to push tar sands oil out to international markets by any means necessary.

“As Denedeh people of the North and the Arctic we have already experienced a 2 degree shift and real impacts of climate change. We are also downstream from the largest industrial project on the planet, the Alberta Tar Sands, that are compounding climate change impacts through the contamination and degradation to the lands we rely on. We need more than written or verbal commitments, we need real action on climate now and that means we can’t expand the tar sands and we must keep fossil fuels in the ground.” Daniel T’Seelie, Dene community member.


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