Don't Vote Conservative if you care about the environment



    OTTAWA, Sept. 30 /CNW Telbec/ - In an unprecedented move by
non-governmental organizations, Greenpeace and Sierra Club Canada joined
together today to urge voters to vote against the Harper Conservatives in the
October 14th federal election.
    "If you care for the environment and want action on global warming, don't
vote Conservative," said Bruce Cox, executive director of Greenpeace Canada,
at a news conference on Parliament Hill.
    The organizations base their position on the Conservatives' environmental
record in government, and their failure to commit to a minimum 25 per cent cut
in greenhouse gas emissions by 2020. The Bloc Québécois, Green Party, Liberal
Party and NDP have all signed on to the targets identified by the KYOTOplus
campaign to strengthen and extend the Kyoto Protocol.
    The Conservatives have been widely criticized around the world for their
focus on reducing greenhouse gases through intensity-based targets. And at
last year's United Nations climate talks in Bali, Indonesia, the Canadian
delegation's attempts to block an international consensus on global warming
isolated Canada and nearly derailed the talks.
    "This election represents a critical turning point," said Stephen Hazell,
executive director of Sierra Club Canada. "While the Conservative government
has failed to show leadership on climate change all other parties agree that
deep reductions in greenhouse gas emissions are necessary, and that the
pricing of these emissions is essential if these reductions are to be
achieved."
    Cox says the Conservatives are choosing to ignore the best available
scientific evidence: "When the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change says
we need to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions 25 per cent by 2020, and the
Conservatives offer a plan at three per cent reductions, there can be no doubt
that they are being wilfully ignorant of the facts."
    Next year, the world will gather in Copenhagen to decide what a
post-Kyoto climate treaty will look like. The UN climate change conference is
widely anticipated to be a historic watershed in the fight against global
warming.
    "If the Conservatives are re-elected, Canadians must expect that we will
lag the rest of the world-even the United States-in meeting our commitments to
fight climate change," said Hazell.
    Greenpeace and Sierra Club Canada are urging voters not to vote
Conservative in this election, and instead to vote for parties that are
willing to take action on climate change. They released the responses to a
joint questionnaire on the environment sent to all political parties to assist
voters in their choice. The Conservatives did not provide any response.




For further information:

For further information: Katie Albright, Communications Coordinator,
Sierra Club Canada, (613) 241-4611 x225 or 613-889-1821 (cell); Spencer Tripp,
Director of Communications, Greenpeace Canada, (416) 605-8408 (cell); Eric
Darier, Quebec Director, Greenpeace, (514) 605-6497 (French)


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