Manitoba

Naomi Klein slams global response to climate change at Winnipeg event

Canadian author and activist, Naomi Klein, spoke in Winnipeg Friday night in front of a packed house at Knox United Church.

Klein calls 2015 Paris Climate Agreement a 'concrete plan for disaster'

Canadian author and activist, Naomi Klein, spoke in Winnipeg Friday night in front of a packed house at Knox United Church. 8:35

Canadian author and activist, Naomi Klein criticized global efforts to combat climate change in Winnipeg Friday night in front of a packed house at Knox United Church. The event was hosted by the Manitoba chapter of the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives. 

Klein, author of No Logo and most recently,This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. the Climate, works with the group 350.org and in her speech in Winnipeg she focused on climate change and the science behind it which she called "terrifying."

Klein stressed if global temperature rise 2 degrees C and beyond, the effects would be catastrophic for many countries, including those in Africa, low lying Pacific Islands and regions that rely on glaciers for drinking water.

Naomi Klein spoke at Knox United Church in Winnipeg Friday night. Klein is author of books "No Logo," "The Shock Doctrine" and most recently, "This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. the Climate." (CBC)

"There are human beings behind these numbers," Klein said.

December's Paris Climate Agreement—considered to be the world's first universal climate agreement—includes a commitment to keep the rise in global temperatures well below 2 C compared to pre-industrial times, while striving to limit them even more, to 1.5 C.

But Klein said in order to reach those targets, countries around the world must aggressively pursue alternative energy. If we stay on our current track world temperatures could rise 3 or even 4 degrees C, she said.

Hundreds arrived at Knox United Church on Friday to listen to Canadian author and social justice activist Naomi Klein. (CBC)
"It means that the vast majority of known fossil fuel reserves need to stay in the ground. We have five times more carbon in our proven fossil fuel reserves than is compatible with the 2 degree temperature target," she said.

There is a worrisome gap between what the Paris agreement seeks to achieve and the nationally-determined plans to reduce emissions, Klein said.

"Our governments in their infinite wisdom have said, 'We know what we need to do and we are willing to do roughly half that,'" she said.

"What we had in Paris was a pretty good definition of safety coupled with a concrete plan for disaster."

In Canada, 90 per cent of Alberta's oil sands bitumen needs to stay in the ground to avoid dangerous degrees of warming, Klein argued.

"There is no room for expansion of the Alberta tar sands if we are going to keep these promises," she said.

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