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Canada’s new PM gets ‘Climate Welcome’ as citizens set out hopes for real change

'Climate Welcome'

38 people Sit-in at the new Prime Minister’s house for #ClimateWelcome. Creative Commons: Robert van Waarden | Survival Media Agency, 2015

Just one day after Canada’s new Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his cabinet were sworn into office, activists are camping out in front of his new Ottawa home today reminding him to “get to work on real climate action.”

Organized by 350.org, 40 people kicked off the first day of the “Climate Welcome,” while hundreds more will take part in the four day sit-in facing the Prime Minister’s official residence.

After 10 years in office, voters ousted Canada’s conservative government in favour of a more progressive vision for their country.

After it was revealed that Justin Trudeau kept his promise of gender parity in his cabinet yesterday, and added “climate change” to the new Minister of Environment’s title, expectations are running high for him to live up to claims of robust change for people and the planet.

But with just a few short weeks weeks ahead of climate talks in Paris, Trudeau has a crucial window of opportunity to step up for the climate on behalf of his country.

First step to delivering on his “ambitious plan to reduce […] emissions in the country,” pipelines and tar sands need to go.

Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions from tar sands are rising faster than the country’s ability to curb them.

If Canada wants to as a real leader in the global transition, the country needs to move away from all tar sands-related projects, such as the Trudeau-backed Keystone XL pipeline.

Demonstrators are delivering a series of “welcome gifts,” including solar panels, scientific reports, broken treaties with First Nations and petitions objecting to tar sands projects.

As protesters risk arrest, they are demanding that the Trudeau government draw on the momentum ahead of UN climate meetings in Paris this December by freezing expansion on tar sands projects, and by committing to “build a clean energy economy.”

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