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For Immediate Release

December 9, 2011

CONTACT | Emilie Novaczek

Media Coordinator, Canadian Youth Delegation to COP17

Durban: 076.772.4054

International: +27.76.772.4054

Canadian “Negotiators” Celebrate Successful COP

Youth accuse Canada of “Talking Green but Walking Dirty” while tar sands development is approved at home

Durban, South Africa – Dressed in slick suits covered in oil company logos, Canadian “negotiators” popped champagne and toasted to another empty negotiation process that would not threaten “oily corporate profits.” Celebrating empty promises and the successful launch of a multi-billion dollar tar sands expansion, the ‘negotiators’ declared COP17 a success. In reality, these ‘negotiators’ were Canadian youth, but the Canadian government’s lack of action on climate change is no joke.

The Canadian Youth Delegation has been using creative ways to draw attention to and educate people about the insufficient climate policies of their government throughout the negotiations. They launched the BituMenswear negotiator uniforms, held a bake sale to buy back their future, and on Wednesday, 6 youth lost accreditation when they “turned their backs on Canada.” Last night, as the rest of the world scrambled to establish a climate agreement the Canadian government approved a $9 billion tar sands development.

“The new Joslyn Mines project shows exactly what Canada is doing here in Durban; talking green, walking dirty and putting polluters ahead of people,” explained CYD member from the Yukon, Malkolm Boothroyd.

The Canadian government has made it clear that they will not sign onto a second commitment period of Kyoto and made headlines earlier in the conference for promising to defend the tar sands, play “hardball” with developing countries and calling our national responsibility for take action a “historical guilty card” imposed by less developed nations.

“Canada is the bottom of the barrel in terms of moving us towards a just and sustainable future, and it’s our responsibility as Canadians to push even harder when we return back home,” said Tasha Peters, a youth delegate from Calgary who spoke at the press conference, “It may seem like there’s been a change in tone from our Environment minister yesterday, but the kind of agreement Canada is proposing for 2015 asks more of other countries, while allowing Canada to continue with business as usual.”

“If the Canadian government refuses to clean up their act and drastically change their position, instead of going to COP18 in Qatar next year, they should stay home,” said Boothroyd.
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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

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