Press Release: Youth Apologize for Canadian Bad COP Behaviour

Read the full apology here.



For Immediate Release

November 30, 2011


CONTACT | Robin Tress

Media Coordinator, Canadian Youth Delegation to COP17

Durban: 076.327.9167

International: +27.76.327.9167

CANADIAN CONTACT – Daniel Cayley-Daoust

Canada: 819.593.4579

Youth Publicly Apologize for Canada’s Bad COP Behaviour

Durban, South Africa (11/28/11) — Recently Canada’s international reputation has been plummeting, most notably at the United Nations climate change negotiations where Canada has been recognized as the most obstructive and damaging country for four years in a row. However, in a return to good old fashioned Canadian manners, the Canadian Youth Delegation is publicly apologizing for a problem they didn’t create. This morning an apology letter, written by Cameron Fenton director of the Canadian Youth Climate Coalition, was published in The Mercury, a Durban daily newspaper.

The apology was presented to Canada’s lead negotiator, Guy St. Jacques, this morning and was delivered this afternoon in a press conference at the UN Climate Negotiations.

“As COP17 kicks off today in Durban, Canadians here at the summit in South Africa and back at home are profoundly sorry. We want to apologize in advance for our government and our negotiators who in the coming weeks will undoubtedly stand in the way of progress, blocking any international agreement to combat climate change,” begins the letter, going on to cite irresponsible Canadian policies such as Environment Minister Kent’s declaration to defend the tar sands at the COP17 climate negotiations and Canada’s recent rejection of the Kyoto Protocol.

Already, Canada has been awarded two first place Fossil of the Day Awards and shows every sign of continuing to derail progress in the next two weeks as countries from all over the world strive to come to an agreement on how to solve the climate crisis.

“So to South Africa, and the world, we are sorry. Our government is putting polluters ahead of people around the globe, but we can’t give up hope,” Fenton’s apology ends on a positive note, “We are here with you to stand up to Canada and forge a path forward to build a just, sustainable future.”

– 30 –

The Canadian Youth Delegation to COP17 is a united front of youth from across
Canada tackling the biggest challenge of our generation: the climate crisis. Acting
locally, provincially, federally, and internationally, we combine our forces to educate
and empower youth. We represent the voice of Canadian youth at the UN Climate
Negotiations. For more information, see

3 Responses to “Press Release: Youth Apologize for Canadian Bad COP Behaviour”
  1. tom marcantonio says:

    Occupy Environment Canada!

  2. Scott says:

    Canadians revel in their historical reputation as an international force for good, but it’s long since an undeserved one. Self-aware shaming of our current momentum is a great strategy; one that ought to be consistently used to counter the vague and empty announcements of our politicians. We have urgent, compelling arguments (backed up by data) to show the path to people, but politicians can so easily dominate the media and muddle the truth. Somehow battling into the mainstream media seems necessary; shaming the hell out of these people in as widespread a forum as possible. Shame the politicians and corporatists alike, and show their abject symbiosis.

    However, print for print or TV spot for TV spot is an inconceivable thing at home- the legal hurdles, massive costs, and of course the media owners themselves all stand in the way of getting our side’s story out. So what to do? It’s got to be a creative solution. Draw in the media with something, bait them if you will, then get the message out. Then switch up- new actions, same disgracing message. It’s all so complex, though. This is such a tough gig in Canada. Media is so deceivingly under the thumb of the power elite, and they’ll only cover the violence of the protest as an object unto itself, never digging into motivation. It works so well- the masses of older, middle-class voters will talk about only what they are shown, and inference about the real stories can’t be assumed.

    So this kind of article is wonderfully blatant. It will take so much work to get these messages deep into the homes of Canadians though, as the currents are strongly pumped in the opposite direction.

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  1. […] Canadian Youth Delegation has publicly apologized for the actions of the Canadian government and their negotiators at Durban, publishing an apology […]

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