Climate activist Greta Thunberg joined thousands of rebels marching in Canada’s energy center Alberta on Friday, as a smaller counter-protests started by a truck convoy of oil and gas staff further converged on the provincial capital Edmonton.
A crowd of several thousand led by native drummers with students, young individuals, and households expedited from a downtown bypass toward the Alberta legislature structure. Many unrolled flares and signs with slogans, such as “be a better ancestor”. At the same time, the buzzing horns of vehicles blared from a nearby street, where automobiles decorated with “We love Canada energy” indicators were driving up and down.
The truck convoy led by pro-oil group United We Roll drove from the city of Red Deer to Edmonton Friday morning to counter what the group referred to as foreign activists campaigning against Canada’s oil and gas sector.
The truck horns buzzed in the distance throughout Thunberg’s speech, and there were nearly 150 counter-protesters in the mob. After she left, shouting broke out among pro-energy protestors, armed with a noisy bull horn, and yelling, “We need oil and gas,” and climate marchers.
Alberta is home to Canada’s huge oil sands and holds the world’s third-largest crude reserves, however, it has struggled to recover from the 2014-15 world oil price crash due to delays building new export pipelines on account of environmental opposition and regulatory hold-ups.
Many energy sector employees and the Alberta government feel the oil sands, despised by environmental activists for their carbon emissions intensity, have been unfairly targeted and say the industry is making progress cutting greenhouse gas output.