(Barcelona, Spain) - Canada joined with the United States in telling other countries here at the UN climate talks in Barcelona that it wants a less binding, less ambitious, and less fair global climate deal.
“Canada’s government has switched from promising repeatedly to get tough on polluters to instead saying it will get tough on the poorest people in the world in watering down a climate deal,” said Steven Guilbeault of Equiterre. “If this is what Minister Prentice means by not being a ‘boy scout,’ then it means that the life support systems of the planet are in deep trouble.”
“The Canadian government is clearly doing the bidding of Alberta and the tar sands,” said Graham Saul of Climate Action Network Canada. “They just keep trying to throw wrenches into the works.”
Optimism remains, however, that the elements of a strong deal are still on the table, that a fair, ambitious, and legally binding agreement can be reached at the UN climate summit in Copenhagen in December. Science says that any agreement must limit global temperature increase well below 2 degrees C, and emissions must peak by the year 2015 as indicated by the IPCC’s last assessment report.
The deal to be reached in December must also provide adequate financing from rich, polluting countries for adaptation and mitigation in developing countries as well as a fair contribution of mitigation action from large developing countries.
“The Canadian Government needs to live up to the promises it has been making for years,” said Dale Marshall of the David Suzuki Foundation. “That means finally producing regulations to tackle global warming pollution that are based on the best climate science and that are worthy of being brought to this crucial global summit.”
“The Canadian Government has proven that it will not give up its laggard role in these critical negotiations. This governments knows perfectly well what needs to happen to make Copenhagen a success and they need to get their act together and come up with a plan,” says Virginie Lambert Ferry of Greenpeace Canada.
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The following Canadians are in Barcelona and available for comment: (Call Hannah McKinnon for telephone numbers)