October 20, 2011: Canadian government still trying to drag Europe through the tar sands

Canadian Government still trying to drag Europe through the tar sands

The European Commission is getting ready to finalize its Fuel Quality Directive, that seeks to reduce the greenhouse gas intensity of transportation fuels. In order to achieve this, the directive assigns different carbon-output values for different types of oil so that lower-carbon fuels can be prioritized. Oil from the Alberta tar sands, being some of the dirtiest and most carbon-intensive on earth, were given a higher greenhouse intensity value than other fuels. The Harper government has vehemently protested this decision, calling it ‘discriminatory’. Joe Oliver, Canada’s Natural Resources Minister, flew to Eurpoe to try to convince the European Commission not to proceed with the directive, and to threaten a challenge to the World Trade Organization over ‘unfair’ trade practices. His appearance in London was interrupted by protestors who offered Oliver an award for being the “greenwash propagandist of the year.” On the bright side, all indications show that the EC will be standing by its decision, and will pursue reducing transportation emissions 6% by 2020. Read Climate Action Network’s response here.

Environment Minister Peter Kent pulls funding for the Canadian Environmental Network

For 34 years, the Canadian Environmental Network has brought together more than 600 environmental groups, helping them co-ordinate services, discuss issues and participate in formal federal consultations through a democratic and transparent process. Most of its funding has always come from Environment Canada, but Peter Kent has decided to end the funding partnership, citing ‘budget cuts’, despite telling the CEN at the beginning of the year that its funding would be renewed. “Don’t be fooled. This isn’t about austerity. It’s vindictive petty politics — part of a systematic campaign by right-wing extremists to marginalize voices of the environment,” John Bennett, the executive director of Sierra Club Canada, said in a statement. Olivier Kolmel, chairman of CEN’s board, stated that the unexpected cuts would force the group to lay off staff.

Beyond Talking Points: A panel discussion on the upcoming climate negotiations

The UNFCCC climate negotiations in Durban, South Africa, are only a little more than a month away, and groups from across Canada a preparing to demand that our government participate in acheiving a fair, ambitious and binding climate agreement. On Thursday October 20, at 7pm at the University of Ottawa, there will be a panel discussion on the best ways to achieve climate justice at the conference. Panel members include Louise Casselman of the Public Service Alliance of Canada Social Justice Fund, Ben Powless of the Indigenous Environmental Network, Tony Clark of Polaris Institute, Tasha Peters of the Canadian Youth Delegation and Graham Saul of Climate Action Network Canada. This will be a fundraiser for the Canadian Youth Delegation, admission is on a $5-$20 sliding scale. For more information, check out the facebook event.

Climate Action Network Canada’s Annual Report for 2010- 2011

Climate Action Network Canada is an indispensable part of the Canadian climate change movement, as we make it possible for Canadian organizations to work together to improve climate change policy. We are the only organization in the country with a mandate to promote the climate movement as a whole, rather than the interests and programs of any one organization. Every year, we put out a report highlighing all of the work that we do with the support of our wonderful members. Check it out here.

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