Climate Action Network Canada Mandate and Charter
The world’s scientific community has concluded that human activities - in particular the burning of fossil fuels - are altering the atmosphere and changing our climate. Climate change is harmful to Canada’s and the world’s environment, threatens our economy, destabilizes communities and seriously degrades human health. Addressing climate change creates opportunities to strengthen our economy, create meaningful employment through the adoption of low-impact renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies, and build more sustainable communities. This challenge demands immediate, substantial, and sustained action by all orders of government and civil society to achieve long term goals for reducing greenhouse gas emissions that go far beyond the Kyoto target.
Who We Are
Climate Action Network Canada (CAN Canada) Réseau action climat Canada (RAC Canada) is composed of member organizations committed to preventing dangerous levels of human interference with the global climate system, protecting environmental sustainability and public health, while upholding principles of just transition, equity and social justice.
To support and empower Canada’s governments, private sector, labour and civil society by designing, developing and implementing effective strategies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions at international, national and local levels, and to prevent dangerous levels of human interference with the global climate system.
CAN Canada promotes solutions and provides a basis for collaborative action and a forum for communication, policy development and coordination to its independent members recognizing that preventing dangerous human interference with the global climate system will involve significant changes in the way human society utilizes energy, natural resources and land.
CAN Canada Members’ Charter
Members support the mission, goal, mandate and activities of CAN Canada and endorses this Charter and the following Statement:
- Canadians have an ethical responsibility to take immediate steps to safeguard the environment and health of current and future generations.
- Governments must steadily and resolutely shift towards sustainable energy policies based on energy conservation, energy efficiency and low-impact renewable energy sources.
- We believe the new energy policy must provide for a just transition for workers and communities affected by this shift to a sustainable energy future.
- At the international level, Canada, which has one of the highest per capita emission rates of greenhouse gases in the world, must play a leadership role in domestic and global action to enhance the integrity of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and its Kyoto Protocol.
- To achieve our international commitments, Canada must use only those international greenhouse gas allowances and credits that represent genuine emissions reductions.
- We explicitly rule out large-scale environmentally damaging hydro dams and nuclear power - they are not part of a sustainable future.
Domestic Policy Statement (December 2003)
Climate Action Network Canada Réseau action climat Canada believes that to effectively begin reducing greenhouse gas emissions, slow climate change, and make the transition to a 21st Century economy based on the efficient use of primarily low-impact renewable energy, the following conditions must be met:
- Canada has ratified the Kyoto Protocol. Canada’s Federal, Provincial and Municipal governments must agree on an action plan that will allow Canada to meet or exceed its commitments under the international agreement while avoiding massive recourse to international allowances/credits. The full and rapid implementation of the November 2002 Climate Change Plan for Canada is essential to send a strong signal to Canadians that all governments are moving from rhetoric to action in addressing climate change.
- To ensure that Canada meets or exceeds this commitment, governments at all levels must, as part of Canada’s action plan, move to:
- Mandate the adoption of technology standards that will create new jobs while achieving major energy efficiency and conservation gains in all sectors, including residential, commercial and public buildings, energy-using appliances and equipment, vehicles, electrical utilities and industry.
- Recognizing that large industrial emitters account for about half of all greenhouse gas emissions in Canada, require that industry contribute towards reducing emissions in an equitable and transparent manner that prevents any transfer of liability for emissions reductions from industry to taxpayers. Federal legislation enabling the setting of emissions targets (a “regulatory backstop”) must be tabled and adopted as soon as possible to ensure that all large emitters start taking action now. There must be no double counting of emission reductions. Phasing out coal-fired electricity, in particular, provides emission reduction opportunities that must be maximized.
- Curtail the growth of the fossil fuel and nuclear industries in an equitable manner by ending subsidies, phasing out coal and nuclear powered electricity generation, and preventing further exploration and development in frontier and offshore areas. Such policies must provide adequate resources for a “just transition” for communities and employees adversely affected by the transition phase. Redirect the savings from elimination of fossil fuel and nuclear subsidies to investment in implementing low-impact renewable energy and energy conservation and efficiency.
- Ensure, through a combination of financial incentives and renewable portfolio standards, a minimum of 10 per cent of Canadian electricity comes from low-impact renewable energy sources by 2010, and ensure steadily higher percentages in subsequent years.
- Encourage sustainable economic activity through revenue neutral changes in tax policies to discourage the production of greenhouse gas emissions, and make corresponding tax reductions on jobs, personal income and sustainable economic activity.
- Stimulate sustainable transportation by investing in accessible urban and intercity public transit, bicycle paths, walking routes, discouraging single-passenger automobile use, and shifting freight movement from road to rail.
- Promote a more efficient use of transportation fuels, in particular by implementing through regulation the federal government commitment to achieve a 25% improvement in average new vehicle fuel efficiency by 2010 and encourage the use of less carbon intensive fuels, such as bio-diesel and certain kinds of ethanol.
- Require efficient urban development and land use planning that preserves urban green space and farmland and prevents further urban sprawl thereby significantly reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
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