by Lyn Adamson.
I’m the co-chair of Canada’s ClimateFast, a volunteer-based non-profit dedicated to building strong, informed public pressure to take urgent, substantial and just action on climate change. Our group fasted on the first full day of COP26, November 1, outside of the U.S. Consulate in Toronto as part of the International Fast for the Climate and also in solidarity with the U.S. hunger strikers, then in their 13th day of fasting at the White House.
On November 4, we held a Candles for COP26 Vigil near the office of our Deputy Prime Minister, who is at COP26 (see photo on page 1). Our focus was on keeping “1.5 Alive,” the goal of staying under a global warming increase of 1.5° Celsius, with youth speakers, Zoe, age 15, and Allie, a Fridays for Future organizer.
We called on Canada to join the Beyond Oil and Gas Alliance which commits signatory countries to not expand the oil and gas industry—no new projects, no exploration, no permits, and no subsidies. Quebec, a province of Canada, signed on the week of November 10th. The BOGA agreement is a sister agreement of the Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty initiative. The FFNPT can be endorsed by individuals, organizations, and by any level of government. Toronto Monthly Meeting has endorsed the agreement, and in July, the City of Toronto endorsed it too, after a two-month campaign led by ClimateFast. Toronto is the second city in Canada, and one of ten in the world, to press their own federal governments to endorse the initiative.
Citizen action is vital to building the political will for climate action. Citizen lobbying led to carbon pricing in Canada. Success in preventing runaway global temperature rise depends on all of us working through many different avenues for change together.
Lyn Adamson is a Toronto Quaker who is supported by her meeting to follow her leading to work on climate and peace. ClimateFast was formed in 2012 and held annual week-long fasts at the Parliament buildings in Ottawa until 2015, calling for a price on carbon, an end to fossil fuel subsidies, and support for a renewable energy transition. See more at ClimateFast.ca.