Tzeporah Berman. (Submitted photo)

B.C. environmental activist receives $2M climate award

Tzeporah Berman says she plans to use it to cut new oil and gas development

A well-known environmental campaigner in B.C. has received a (US)$2 million award from a global organization that supports projects aimed at curbing climate change.

The Climate Breakthrough Project says Tzeporah Berman is the 2019 recipient of its annual award.

Berman co-founded Stand.earth, the organization behind numerous environmental campaigns, including those targeting expansion of the Trans Mountain oil pipeline, pollution caused by Carnival cruise ships and Proctor & Gamble for making toilet paper from intact forests.

A statement from the Climate Breakthrough Project calls Berman “bold and visionary,” someone who remains committed to real-world results and to negotiating lasting victories.

The project says its award funds individuals developing innovative social, economic or policy change strategies that will make a globally significant impact on greenhouse gas emissions over the next five to 10 years.

Berman says she plans to use the award to develop programs that will cut new oil and gas development and keep carbon unburned and out of the atmosphere.

She says the award is an honour and comes at a critical moment in history.

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“This summer’s fires in the Amazon and the Arctic are a wake-up call for all of us, and yet even wealthy countries such as my own continue to expand oil and gas production,” Berman says in the statement.

“If your house is on fire, you don’t add more fuel. We need new global strategies to stop the expansion of the oil and gas industry and build a safer future.”

The Climate Breakthrough Project says Berman’s plans include developing a strategic approach to limiting new oil and gas development globally to align with United Nations Paris Agreement goals for a safe climate.

The project, an initiative of the California-based David and Lucile Packard Foundation, says not enough has been invested in “novel and potentially game-changing strategies” needed to reduce greenhouse gases and cut global warming.

It says its unrestricted awards go to individuals or small teams, not institutions or organizations, allowing them to step beyond their past work in order to consider and develop the most ambitious strategies they can execute.

The Canadian Press

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