Briefing

Thousands of protestors march to Alberta legislature with climate activist Greta Thunberg

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The crowd, protesting fossil-fuel reliance and oil extraction, was met with pro-pipeline counter-protests led by the United We Roll movement. “Countries such as Sweden or Canada need to get down to zero emissions much faster … so that poorer parts of the world can heighten their standard of living,” said Thunberg. An hour west of the Edmonton protest, Premier Jason Kenney attended the inauguration of a new gas pipeline at a TransAlta facility, saying its opening marked “a good day for the environment.” (Global News)

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Talking point: Thunberg’s position on resource extraction is at odds with Kenney’s and others who maintain that clean technology can reverse the oilsands’ reputation as the world’s dirtiest fuel source—a claim that hasn’t yet proven out. “I am asking everyone connected to the oil and gas industry to come out in unity to show Greta we do not need her yelling at us,” said co-organizer Joel Mullan on United We Roll’s website, adding that Alberta was proud of its “clean energy.” The remarks echoed a tweet from the premier’s office ahead of Thunberg’s visit, expressing its hope that the 16-year-old Swedish activist would recognize Alberta’s oil industry’s high environmental standards, “especially in comparison to oil-producing dictatorships such as Saudi Arabia, Iran, Russia and Venezuela – which she will presumably visit next.”