October 13, 2009
“We want our children and grandchildren to look back and be proud that Canada seized the moment to solve problems and not make them worse. Instead, we get more and more excuses and delay.”
-Greg Boyle, Sierra Youth Coalition
Canada is running out of time to commit to legally binding, science-based greenhouse gas reduction targets. A strong international agreement could mean the difference between a manageable future and dire climatic consequences.
Despite the urgency, the Conservative government has steadfastly refused to show leadership on reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
The New Democrat Climate Change Accountability Act (Bill C-311 in current Parliament) outlines fair and binding science-based targets for reducing Canadian greenhouse gas emissions. When the Bill passed third reading in Parliament in 2008, environmental leaders celebrated its adoption as a world first. But by shutting down Parliament and calling an early election last year, Mr. Harper killed the Bill before it could be passed by the Senate.
On October 21, Liberals and Conservatives voted together to delay Bill C-311.
Because of Liberals and Conservatives, the Act will not pass during the Copenhagen conference.
Instead of taking a firm stand in a spirit of cooperation to protect the environment, the Liberals voted with the Conservatives against our future. Instead of choosing to replace the Harper Conservatives’ inadequate environmental policies with credible, science based, legally binding targets to quickly decrease Canada’s GHG emissions, we have more of the same old rhetoric. More studies, no action.
“Canada is playing the spoiler role at the UN climate negotiations and this (Bill C311) would send a strong signal to the international community that Canada is prepared to do its fair share. Canada is one of the top ten global warming polluters in the world, and it is time for action not unnecessary delays.”
- Graham Saul, Climate Action Network Canada
C-311 ensures that no Canadian government can shirk its international commitments through measures like:
• Long-term targets – 80% below 1990 levels by 2050 – for the reduction of Canadian greenhouse gas emissions and medium-term target of 25% below 1990 levels by 2020.
• Provide authority for the government to make regulations in order to meet these targets and set penalties for those who contravene regulations passed under the Act.
Liberals like to talk about the environment, but when the time for action comes, they do nothing. Canada will once again be seen as a pariah on greenhouse gas pollution.
“Passing this Bill before Copenhagen in December is Parliament’s only hope of proving that we are prepared to work seriously through the United Nations to find a solution to global warming. The Liberals voting with the Conservatives may have made that impossible.”
- Dale Marshall, David Suzuki Foundation