Pro-energy campaigners plan to challenge a climate change demonstration by teen eco-activist Greta Thunberg in Canada with their own counter-protest.
According to CBC News, a convoy of around 100 trucks has departed Red Deer in the province of Alberta for the region’s capital, Edmonton, some 150km away, where Thunberg is expected to appear today.
Both demonstrations are set to take place outside the building of Alberta’s legislative assembly in Edmonton.
The pro-energy rally is being organised by the local group United We Roll, for Canada which staged a similar rally in February to challenge a pair of environmental bills that are both praised and criticised for toughening the already difficult regulatory environment for Canadian energy companies.
“We in the province of Alberta are tired of celebrities coming into our province and trying to tell us how to run our oil and gas sector,” the organisers said in a Facebook post on Wednesday, asking everyone concerned to “come out in unity to show Greta we do not need her yelling at us.”
Convoy co-organiser Joel Mullan told Global News that they certainly won’t be intimidating the 16-year-old activist.
“We also want to make the message very, very clear that this is the most ethically produced and cleanest-produced oil in the world. Our environmental standards are second to none,” he said.
Thunberg, currently on a tour of North America, came to international prominence after staging solo climate protests outside the Swedish parliament last year. She has since launched the Fridays for Change campaign — international school strikes protesting against perceived government and business inaction on climate change — and established herself as the most recognisable face of the environmental movement after addressing the UN climate action summit in late September.