Greenpeace occupies Parliament roofs to shout“Climate inaction costs lives”

Feature story - December 6, 2009
On the opening day of pivotal climate change negotiations in Copenhagen, 19 Greenpeace activists have occupied roofs on the Parliament Buildings to highlight the failure of Prime Minister Harper and Opposition Leader Ignatieff to help end the growing loss of human lives from the ever-worsening climate crisis.

On the opening day of pivotal climate change negotiations in Copenhagen, 19 Greenpeace activists have occupied roofs on the Parliament Buildings to highlight the failure of Prime Minister Harper and Opposition Leader Ignatieff to help end the growing loss of human lives from the ever-worsening climate crisis

The Greenpeace action targets Harper and Ignatieff for their failure to support legally binding, science-based targets that will lead to significant cuts in greenhouse gas emissions.

The activists have unfurled two 12 x 7 metre banners on the West Block of Parliament reading "Harper/Ignatieff: Climate Inaction Costs Lives" and "Harper/Ignatieff: L'inaction climatique coûte des vies." Activists occupying roofs have also placed banners at the East Block and across entrances calling for an end to tar sands development.

More videos from the action here.

"Harper and Ignatieff are failing to take seriously the staggering human tragedy of the climate crisis.  Hundreds of thousands of people die every year and millions more are displaced because Canada and other developed counties don't take action on climate change. The Global Humanitarian Forum warns that this is just the beginning of the human tragedy of climate chaos." - Mike Hudema, Greenpeace climate and energy campaigner, hanging from the roof of the West Block.

"Harper says he only supports modest reduction targets, Ignatieff has issued his climate thoughts without any reduction targets at all. It's unacceptable for them to ignore the demand from Canadians for action. It is time Harper and Ignatieff stopped serving the interests of the dirty oil industry in the tar sands and helped lead the way to a just and ambitious climate agreement in Copenhagen. Millions of lives depend on climate action." -Christy Ferguson, Greenpeace climate and energy campaign coordinator at the action.

This is the fifth action Greenpeace has undertaken since September to bring attention to climate inaction in Canada and the climate crimes of tar sands development.

Greenpeace and 120 partners have mobilized 150,000 Canadians through the KYOTOplus campaign to demand action from Ottawa to prevent climate chaos. Both Harper and Ignatieff have ignored requests to sign on to KYOTOplus and listen to Canadians who want action on climate change.

Read the news release and backgrounder: www.greenpeace.org/canada/en/press

PROFILE Of ACTIVIST