The Leap Manifesto in Paris

Highlights from a December 2 workshop on The Leap Manifesto, towards a justice-based energy transition.

  1. The TCE team was fortunate to be in Paris this month to participate in civil society organizing around the COP21 climate talks. One of the highlights was being joined by about 500 people for a workshop event on December 2 about the Leap Manifesto (, a call for a justice-based transition to a renewable energy economy in Canada.
  2. The Leap Manifesto was initiated by leaders from Canada’s Indigenous rights, social justice, environmental, food, faith-based and labour movements. At the Paris workshop, Naomi Klein and Avi Lewis joined several key Leap participants to discuss the project and the lessons learned. The event sought to engage with people interested in setting the public agenda post-Paris; creating an irresistible, popular vision of the economy and society we want; breaking down silos between our movements; and working with artists to engage the public.
  3. Ron Lameman from Beaver Lake Cree Nation launches #TheLeap Manifesto Workshop at Paris #COP21
    Ron Lameman from Beaver Lake Cree Nation launches #TheLeap Manifesto Workshop at Paris #COP21
  4. There was some great coverage of the workshop from the journalists and bloggers who attended. Avi served as the moderator of the event, and Australia's The Conversation reported on his introduction: "Lewis opened proceedings by noting, 'there is a huge gap between what we are offered by political leaders and what we are ready for in terms of bold and radical change.'"
  5. "#TheLeap lands at a time when people are ready for radical change" -Avi Lewis opening @thischanges workshop in #Paris. #COP21
  6. #TheLeap launch starting now, w/ @avilewis grounding it in recent N American successes, "Momentum of the no" #COP21
    #TheLeap launch starting now, w/ @avilewis grounding it in recent N American successes, "Momentum of the no" #COP21
  7. In her remarks setting the scene, Naomi outlined why any agreement out of Paris would not be up to the task of confronting the climate crisis, and talked about the kind of deep, systemic change to our political and economic systems that we need instead. "We have left our messianic fantasies at home," she said, as reported in Canada's National Observer. "We've done the math. We know politicians have come to the table with emissions reduction targets that will lead us to an extremely dangerous future, three to four degrees. This is not ambition."
  8. #TheLeap demands not just energy democracy, but that the transition is based on justice & redressing historical wrongs - @NaomiAKlein #COP21
  9. "I refuse to leave our future in the hands of world leaders cloistered in Le Bourget." – @NaomiAKlein #TheLeap #COP21
  10. We all need a post Paris people's plan! Because #COP21 cannot address the crisis. #TheLeap Manifesto
  11. After Naomi's comments, the event speakers did a joint reading of parts of the Leap Manifesto. Pictured (from left) are Avi Lewis; Crystal Lameman of the Beaver Lake Cree Nation; Bianca Mugyenyi, outreach coordinator on the TCE team; Christian Poll (Member of Danish Parliament for The Alternative; Hassan Yussuff, president of the Canadian Labour Congress; Maude Barlow, national chairperson of the Council of Canadians; Katie McKenna, engagement lead on the TCE team; investigative journalist Martin Lukacs; and Naomi Klein.
  12. Next, Martin Lukacs and Katie McKenna talked about the origins of the manifesto, including an initial, 2-day convening in Toronto that brought together 60 leaders from Canada’s Indigenous rights, social, migrant and food justice, environmental, faith-based, and labour movements.
  13. "If you're not having fights, your coalition isn't broad enough. If you're not uncomfortable, you're not learning."–@Martin_Lukacs #TheLeap
  14. Bianca Mugyenyi laid out the launch plans and media response. (Here's The Conversation again: "Canada’s newspaper of record, The Globe and Mail, described the ideas as 'madness', although at the time of writing the manifesto has attracted more than 31,000 pledges of support, not to mention being well supported by scientific evidence.") Martin, Katie, and Bianca all shared some of the central lessons that emerged from the process.
  15. Lessons: people are hungry for positive change; artists are ready; there will be backlash; you don't know what will come back! #TheLeap
  16. The key allies present who were involved in the Leap process -- Crystal, Christian, Hassan, and Maude -- responded with reflections on what the manifesto meant for their work.
  17. "Workers need to be at the center of any debate about how to take on climate change" - @hassan_yussuff on #TheLeap
  18. .@clameman at #TheLeap in #COP21 - First Nation people demand a fair share of revenues from carbon pricing to finance energy sovereignty
  19. .@MaudeBarlow at #TheLeap: Trade deals like #TTIP & #CETA mean that positive measures that came out of #COP21 could be sued by corporations
  20. The workshop ended with a spirited Q&A.
  21. #TheLeap is not a petition, it's a tool. It's a story. It's a common vision. It's about building power. @NaomiAKlein #ThisChangesEverything
  22. Frontline communities know the problems. They also know the solutions. - Bianca @thischanges #TheLeap
  23. The New Republic also reported from the workshop, and talked with Naomi about where the project is headed next. "The pamphlet is named for Leap Day, as in February 29 (and not, the group’s FAQ stresses, Mao Zedong’s Great Leap Forward), when more events are planned. With the official [climate] talks scheduled to end in mid-December, 'February 29 is enough time to have a good cry, brush yourself off, and do something,' Klein said with a laugh."
  24. Mark your calendars and organize. 29 Feb 2016 is #TheLeap day. System change. Climate and environmental justice. @thischanges