January 26, 2012

Canadian High Commission Responds to letter delivered by AYICC Kenya members

Its not often that you expect responses to letters when you deliver them to so-called 'High places'.In this case the Canadian High Commission, but Alas, at times they do write back and this is what happened in this case!

On Wednesday August 31, 2011, a group of AYICC Kenya and 350 Kenya members led by David Wainaina the Programs Coordinator delivered a letter to the Canadian High Commission in Nairobi in a global effort to stop the proposed Keystone XL pipeline from the Canadian tar sands to the United States. This was in solidarity with Americans led by 350.org among others who were  taking part in two weeks of civil disobedience from August 20th - September 3rd, 2011aimed at persuading President Obama to deny a permit for the pipeline. 

The Letter stated in part:

''Canada must stop lobbying for the development of the Keystone XL pipeline and shut down the tar sands extraction operations. It is not right for Canada to be pushing tar sands development when the planet’s premier climate scientists have spoken out firmly to say it presents not a risk but a definite danger to the earth’s atmosphere. US scientist Dr. James Hansen of NASA stated that it would be “essentially game over for the climate” if substantial quantities of the tar sands oil are excavated and used.

This cannot be Canada’s greatest legacy of the 21st century. Many people around the world think of Canada as a prosperous, well-educated, innovative nation with many ways to secure our future that will help, not harm, the planet. The devastation already visited on the boreal forest by this tar sands development should be proof enough of what a short-sighted plan it is.

Around the world, other nations have begun to rise to the environmental challenge. Brazil, for instance, is far poorer than Canada, and yet its citizens have put a high priority on protecting their rainforest. Canada’s traditional role in world affairs is as a mediator, a conciliator. That proud past doesn’t give you the right to endanger the earth’s future.

We thus respectfully ask the Canadian government to cease lobbying for the Keystone Pipeline, to shut down the tar sands extraction operations, and to instead turn its efforts to helping seek an international agreement to limit carbon emissions and secure the future of our planet during COP 17. ''

And this is what the Canadian High Commissioner said in his response letter ;


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