Canada on Climate Change - Countdown to Copenhagen

by: EJ on 11/26/2009
Posted in: Climate Change

Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced yesterday he will attend the Copenhagen conference. Is this a good thing? Certainly, his decision is most likely politically motivated. On November 24th the Canadian parliament voted against the conservative minority government to take a more ambitious position going into the United Nations Climate Summit in Copenhagen. The Bloc Quebecois' motion was supported with a count of 137 to 124.

This comes at a time when Canada is coming under increasing criticism overseas. In the UK Guardian newspaper yesterday, Damian Carrington reported, "Prominent campaigners, politicians and scientists have called for Canada to be suspended from the Commonwealth over its climate change policies." You can read the complete article here.

The basis for the coalition's request is this:

Canada's per capita greenhouse gas emissions are among the world's highest and it will not meet the cut required under the Kyoto protocol: by 2007 its emissions were 34% above its reduction target. It is exploiting its vast tar sands reserves to produce oil, a process said to cause at least three times the emissions of conventional oil extraction.

The coalition claims Canada is contributing to droughts, floods and sea level rises in Commonwealth countries such as Bangladesh, the Maldives and Mozambique. Clare Short, the former international development secretary, said: "Countries that fail to help [tackle global warming] should be suspended from membership, as are those that breach human rights."

If you would like to send a message to Prime Minister Stephen Harper that Canadians are tired of being humiliated internationally and that action on climate change is of vital importance, you can sign the Climate Action Network Canada petition here.

By signing this petition, you also agree to support:

  • a just price on greenhouse gas pollution
  • world-leading regulations and effective investments to cut greenhouse gas pollution from vehicles, buildings and other sectors
  • strong measures in support of energy conservation and renewable energy
  • urgent measures to minimize climate change impacts on people and ecosystems here and abroad.


For a full range of ideas on how to address the climate crisis, check out Guy Dauncey's The Climate Challenge: 101 Solutions to Global Warming.

The Climate Challenge


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