“It is insufficient to have an ecologist as Minister of the Environment”, says Laure Waridel

Co-founder of Équiterre with Steven Guilbeault, Laure Waridel does not mince words to denounce the approval of the Bay du Nord oil megaproject. She says the Trudeau government has made “a foolish decision” that risks discrediting the federal Minister of Environment and Climate Change.

“It’s an aberration”, drops the ecosociologist in an interview at the To have toby denouncing the green light given Wednesday by Minister Steven Guilbeault to the project of the Norwegian multinational Equinor. The company will therefore be able to drill 60 wells to exploit at least 300 million barrels of oil off the coast of Newfoundland, in an area recognized by the UN for its ecological importance.

“Approving such a project just after presenting a plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in which there was hope is an insult to our intelligence and our civic engagement. We are fighting against an industry that has gigantic means to make governments bend. And what we are told is that their message is more important than ours and that their short-term profits are more important than the future of our children,” laments Ms.me Waridel.

“What I find most indecent, shocking and saddest is that I know that Steven knows it. He follows the climate negotiations and has been up to date with climate science for several years. I do not know by what cognitive bias he manages to legitimize such a decision, ”adds the one who has known the minister for a long time. “I don’t know how he feels, but personally I’m very saddened, very angry and very disappointed. »

Laure Waridel, who participated in the founding of Équiterre in 1993, notably in the company of Steven Guilbeault, believes that “he contributed enormously to an awareness of environmental issues in Quebec”. She also believes that the elected Liberal has, during his activism, “gave a lot of people a taste for commitment”. According to her, her transition to active politics was motivated by the desire to “get things done” in favor of environmental protection.

What I find most indecent, shocking and saddest is that I know that Steven knows it. He follows the climate negotiations and has been up to date with climate science for several years. I don’t know by what cognitive bias he manages to legitimize such a decision.

In this context, the disappointment is all the greater today. “Despite his great understanding of the issues, we finally see him being caught in the machine. I don’t blame him like anyone else, but I blame the hypocrisy and the inconsistency of the system, the ability to manipulate us, ”she underlines. “This is a very sad moment for the history of the environmental movement in Canada and Quebec. »

Discredit

Minister Steven Guilbeault repeated in vain that the approval of the Bay du Nord project was consistent with the Canadian plan to fight the climate crisis, but also that the oil company Equinor should achieve “carbon neutrality” by 2050, Laure Waridel just don’t believe it. “It takes away his legitimacy for his next interventions, for example to tell Quebec to better protect the caribou. I think it discredits him and it discredits the federal government. I’ve heard all of his speech justifying the decision, but I still think it’s unacceptable. »

The green light from the federal government, which came two days after the publication of a particularly alarming new report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, also risks fueling the despair and cynicism of many, especially young people. , believes Laure Waridel, co-founder of the Mothers at the Front movement. “We must therefore use this to mobilize more, because it is insufficient to have an ecologist as Minister of the Environment. »

“I understand that environmentalists are angry, because it was an important symbol for them,” Minister Guilbeault said Thursday morning in an interview on the program. All one morningon Radio-Canada. “I did not come into politics to announce oil projects,” he added, while recalling that the Bay du Nord project represents only 20% of the expected increase in production in Canada.

In early 2021, the Trudeau government also authorized 40 exploratory drilling off Newfoundland. These projects could lead to commercial exploitation projects after 2030. Equinor has obtained authorization to carry out 12 exploratory drillings in an area associated with the very important fishing sector of the Grand Banks of Newfoundland.

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