This week’s Camp for Climate Action is actually a training event, taking place within sight of the City of London and preparing activists for the UN Climate Conference in Copenhagen.
The camp aims to provide volunteers with information on four aspects of Climate Change:
2) direct action
3) sustainable living
4) building a movement to effectively tackle climate change.
Tar Sands damage Canada via British involvement
It’s that second point that has brought five representatives of the Cree First Nations to the camp – they are highlighting the involvement of British corporations in the tar sand extraction taking place in Canada. A spokesman from Fort Chipewyan said that ‘British companies such as BP and Royal Bank of Scotland … are driving this project, which is having such devastating effects on our environment and communities.’
The Cree representatives say that the tar sand mining destroys ancient forestry, contaminates water systems with toxins and disrupts wildlife, which then threatens the aborigine lifestyle of the First Nations. The spokesman said it was ‘… the biggest environmental crime on the planet’ and that it was able to continue because very few people in Britain realised it was happening. BP and Shell oil companies are both involved in extracting oil from the tar sands of Alberta – the oil is removed by using water under intense pressure, a process which uses up natural resources, requires high levels of energy and produces higher CO2 emissions. Royal Bank of Scotland is now part-owned by the British government following its financial difficulties and is being targeted by the Cree representatives because it has been a major funder of tar sand extraction schemes.
Climate Camp Mystery Location
The exact site of the camp is not yet known although campers are already arriving in the Greater London Area – the village will ‘spring up’ overnight on Wednesday and open on Thursday: the organisers fear the police may try to prevent the camp being built if they have advance warning of its location.