Wednesday December 7, 2011

Federal Politics


How Green Is Your Valley?

Green parties in Canada condemn government's sabotage of international climate agreement

Released by the BC Green Party


eaders and representatives of the Green Parties of Canada, Yukon, British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, Québec, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, and Newfoundland and Labrador expressed their horror and shame today at the Harper government's long-term, deliberate, and destructive sabotage of international negotiations to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and limit the effects of anthropogenic climate change.

Canadians strongly support signing on to a new international climate agreement, according to a poll by Environics Research conducted for The Globe and Mail in November of this year ("Support for climate action still strong in Canada, poll finds" November 30, 2011). But the Conservative government plans to pull out of the only agreement on the table, the Kyoto Accord, after years of reneging on Canada's commitments and undermining the negotiating process.

Scientists around the world are calling with increased urgency for an international agreement to curb carbon emissions and to begin meaningful reductions by 2015. In a recent article in The Guardian, Fatih Birol, chief economist at the International Energy Association, said "If we don't change direction now on how we use energy . . . the door will be closed forever" ("World headed for irreversible climate change in five years, IEA warns" The Guardian November 9, 2011).

Elizabeth May, MP for Saanich-Gulf Islands and Leader of the Green Party of Canada, met her provincial and territorial counterparts by teleconference as she began her trip to Durban to attend COP17 - where Canada will again be a frontrunner for Fossil of the Year award. "We ran out of time for politics of deny and delay over a decade ago. The scientific warnings are clear -- failure to move decisively now will leave our own children in an unliveable world. What kind of parents are we?" says May.

"Canada used to be seen as a nation of peacekeepers and a model of solidarity in the world, especially toward Africa," said Claude Sabourin, Leader of the Parti Vert de Québec. "Now Canada is seen as a militarily-oriented country that chooses its own short-term financial gain over the welfare of others. The Harper government's willful obstruction of international climate negotiations will fix Canada's reputation - for the worse - in the minds of the global community."

"Dealing with climate change is so urgent that it seems incomprehensible that our federal government fails to see that inaction will be much more costly than taking even modest steps," adds Jane Sterk, leader of the Green Party of BC. "Today's young people, future generations and other species will pay a terrible price for this willful ignorance."




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