For release: January 9, 2007
Minister Baird: Provide Canadians with a Strong, Credible Response to Climate Change
(Ottawa) Climate Action Network Canada/Réseau action climat Canada (CAN-RAC) today calls on Canada’s Environment Minister John Baird to provide Canadians with a strong, credible response to climate change.
“The Prime Minister acknowledges that Canadians expect more from his government on the environment, and he’s absolutely right. Canadians know that we’re facing a climate crisis, and they want to see real action from their government,” said John Bennett, CAN-RAC. “That has to start with an unequivocal commitment to Kyoto.”
Last year, the federal government repudiated Canada’s Kyoto Protocol target for reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and cut funding to climate change programs. The government’s proposed Clean Air Act offers no national short-term target to cut GHG pollution, no GHG regulations for industry until 2011, and no reductions in GHGs below current levels until after 2020-2025.
Prime Minister Harper and Minister Baird can demonstrate their commitment by adopting CAN-RAC’s seven- point strategy:
Implement a climate plan that effectively reduces all major Canadian sources of GHGs, unequivocally re-commits to meeting ALL Canada’s obligations under the Kyoto Protocol and sets science-based targets for the longer term; and move immediately to:
Prepare regulations that set absolute emission targets for the biggest industrial polluters and apply no later than 2008. Energy efficiency regulations for appliance and equipment manufacturers and others must be aggressively strengthened in the same timeframe. • For the automotive sector, regulate GHG emissions in a manner at least as stringent as California’s regulation.
Announce aggressive national objectives and adequate supporting funds for the deployment of low-impact renewable energy in the electricity, heating and transportation sectors.
Restore and expand the EnerGuide for Houses grants program.
Increase investment in research on climate impacts and adaptation in line with the recommendations of the Canadian Foundation for Climate and Atmospheric Sciences.
Invest in effective programs to educate Canadians about climate change and engage them in solutions.
“Minister Baird has a profound and historic opportunity to take action to avert catastrophic climate change”, said Emilie Moorhouse, Sierra Club of Canada. “Saying more isn’t necessarily doing more. Doing more starts with re-engaging in Kyoto and taking urgent regulatory action.”
CAN-RAC is a network of over 40 member organizations including Greenpeace, Sierra Club of Canada, Equiterre, Pembina Institute, KAIROS, The Assembly of First Nations, World Wildlife Fund and the David Suzuki Foundation as well as major faith and labour organizations. Members work together for federal, provincial and local government action in defense of the climate.
- 30 -