The Tory government’s recent pick for ‘climate champion’ is way beyond satire

Boris Johnson
Support us and go ad-free

To mark six months until the COP26 climate conference, the event’s host – aka the Conservative government – has released a list of 26 Canadian ‘climate champions’. The government said these champions are all “helping to build a net-zero future”.

In its infinite wisdom, the government put the executive Martha Hall Findlay from massive Canadian oil company Suncor on that list. It also included the Royal Bank of Canada’s (RBC) vice president for corporate citizenship and sustainability Valerie Chort. RBC has backed fossil fuel projects with $160bn of finance since the 2015 Paris Agreement on climate, according to the Rainforest Action Network.

The world is facing environmental armageddon largely because of the fossil fuel industry. So the inclusion of individuals from these entities on a list of climate champions is way beyond satire.

Beyond satire

As Climate Home reported, Findlay is chief sustainability officer at Suncor, which “produces crude oil from tar sands”. National Geographic described Canada’s oil sands industry as “the world’s most destructive oil operation” due to its severe environmental impact. Indeed, Norway’s wealth fund blacklisted Suncor and other Canadian companies in 2020 over their excessive carbon emissions “from production of oil to oil sands”.

As such, the news that the UK government has anointed a Suncor exec as a ‘climate champion’ was met with ridicule:

Obstacles to progress

Suncor is expanding oil production, although it has promised that by 2030 it will lower the ’emissions intensity’ of its operations. In a statement regarding her ‘climate champion’ win, Findlay also said the company was looking forward to COP26 and collaborating with others to find “real solutions” to the climate crisis.

However, the most fundamental ‘real solution’ to the climate crisis is ending fossil fuel production. So, as Corporate Accountability’s spokesperson Jesse Bragg told Climate Home, those intent on keeping the fossil fuels flowing aren’t climate champions but ‘obstacles to progress’.

That goes for Suncor, RBC, and indeed the UK government itself.

Featured image via Evening Standard / YouTube

We know everyone is suffering under the Tories - but the Canary is a vital weapon in our fight back, and we need your support

The Canary Workers’ Co-op knows life is hard. The Tories are waging a class war against us we’re all having to fight. But like trade unions and community organising, truly independent working-class media is a vital weapon in our armoury.

The Canary doesn’t have the budget of the corporate media. In fact, our income is over 1,000 times less than the Guardian’s. What we do have is a radical agenda that disrupts power and amplifies marginalised communities. But we can only do this with our readers’ support.

So please, help us continue to spread messages of resistance and hope. Even the smallest donation would mean the world to us.

Support us