Nobel Peace Laureate and former Archbishop of Cape Town Desmond Tutu is among the signatories to a note calling on Canada to clean up its environmental act and restore its international reputation for leadership. The note was published in a full-page advertisement in The Globe and Mail.
Zwelinzima Vavi, the General Secretary of the Congress of South African Trade Unions, also signed the letter.
The note says that climate change for Africa “is a life and death issue… Canada’s global warming pollution, tar sands mining and drilling makes the problem worse and exposes millions of Africans to more devastating drought and famine today and in the years to come.”
The African leaders lament that Canada has lost its way. Canada was once seen as a leader on global issues such as human rights and environmental protection but this is no longer the case.
The letter was published during the first week of climate change negotiations at COP 17 in Durban, South Africa. It concludes by urging Canada to re-emerge as a world leader by supporting action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions that cause climate change.