Code red for humanity

This summer has been a climate wake up call for many Canadians.

Where I live in British Columbia, a “heat dome” caused unbearable conditions that resulted in several hundred deaths. Hundreds of forest fires across the province have blanketed the air with smoke and thousands of households had to be evacuated. Tragically, last month the town of Lytton, BC burned to the ground. In other Canadian provinces and territories, people’s lives have been turned upside down by drought, melting permafrost, and other extreme weather events.

In August, the United Nations’ international panel of climate scientists published a report warning that the world is dangerously close to runaway warming, and that humans are “unequivocally” to blame. UN Secretary-General António Guterres called this report a “code red for humanity”.

“The alarm bells are deafening, and the evidence is irrefutable:  greenhouse‑gas emissions from fossil-fuel burning and deforestation are choking our planet and putting billions of people at immediate risk…. This report must sound a death knell for coal and fossil fuels, before they destroy our planet.”

Guterres called on countries to end all new fossil fuel (coal, oil, gas) exploration and production, and shift fossil-fuel subsidies into renewable energy. Amnesty International urges the Government of Canada to heed this advice. According to a recent study by the organization Environmental Defence, Canada provides the second highest levels of public finance to oil and gas of all G20 countries – and the most on a per capita basis. The study shows that the Canadian government announced at least $18 billion to the oil and gas sector in 2020 alone. This is shameful given that fossil fuel pollution is the biggest contributor to climate change.


  1. Call on your candidates to support climate justice this federal election >>>
  2. Strike for the climate! Join the next youth-organized global climate strike on Friday, September 24. Make a sign to carry, that reads “Climate change harms human rights”, “Code red for humanity”, “Canada: Stop funding fossils” or another message of your choice. Visit to find the time and place for an event near your community. Share your photos from the strike on social media and tag us at @amnestynow
  3. Volunteer with Amnesty and join the fight for climate justice. Contact for more information.