Babelgum Presents: The Yes Men at Copenhagen COP 15


The Yes Men, lovers of large-scale shenanigans that take down the man (and whose hilarious film we told you about back in October), have just pulled a stunt at Copenhagen COP 15, and our friends at Babelgum kindly passed along the video. According to the Yes Men’s website, the purpose was “to highlight the most powerful nations’ obstruction of meaningful progress in Copenhagen, to push for just climate debt reparations, and to call out Canada in particular for its terrible climate policy.” Perhaps these clips — in which the “Canadian delegation” publicly commits to bold emission reduction targets and tens of billions in new aid to help African nations — will end up in their next documentary.

The stunt began when journalists received a press release from “Environment Canada” that claimed Canada was reversing its position on climate change, followed by this “official” briefing.

A video featuring an excited response from “a COP15 delegate from Uganda,” was embedded in a fake COP15 website.

Then came the official response from the fake Canada:

Finally, The Climate Debt agents from ActionAid claimed responsibility for the stunt. They’re a collective that pushes wealthy countries to help those most affected by climate change — developing nations.

The real reaction from the real Canada was rather underwhelming. So, why target them in the first place? According to the Yes Men, “The only country in the world to have abandoned the Kyoto Protocol’s emissions and climate debt targets, Canada also has the most energy-intensive, destructive and polluting oil reserves in the world.” That would do it.

Read media coverage of the event in The Globe and Mail, The Guardian, and The Toronto Star.

Photo by Joseph Huff-Hannon