Government Plan Fails to Rapidly Reduce Global Warming Pollution



    OTTAWA, April 26 /CNW/ - Prime Minister Harper's approach to reducing
global warming pollution fails WWF's litmus test: that any plan must rapidly
reduce greenhouse gas emissions in this decade.
    The Harper plan commits to reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 20%
from today's levels by 2020; but Canada made an international commitment to
reduce emissions to 6% below 1990 levels by 2012.
    The Harper plan is misleading because it references today's emissions
levels rather than the internationally agreed 1990 baseline. Under this plan,
Canada will not reach its 2012 Kyoto commitments until at least 2023. This
will be too late to stop dangerous climate change.
    The decision to slow the growth of pollution from large industrial
sources of greenhouse gas emissions through so-called "intensity-based
regulations," rather than requiring absolute reductions, is a key flaw in the
scheme.
    "The Harper government is putting itself on the wrong side of climate
change science, Canada's international commitments, public opinion, and
business," said Julia Langer, WWF-Canada. "A policy of delay and half-measures
denies the seriousness and urgency of the global warming problem, ignores the
green business opportunities, and dismisses Canadians' expectations for
action."
    In contrast, the European Union voted last month to reduce greenhouse gas
emissions by 20% (below 1990 levels) by 2020 and have begun regulating large
industrial sources, mandating energy efficiency improvements and created a
carbon market. Dozens of studies have outlined technically and economically
feasible approaches for Canada to dramatically reduce fossil fuel pollution.
All of them involve aggressive energy conservation requirements throughout the
economy, maximizing the use of renewable power, carbon capture and storage,
purchase of certified credits and carbon trading, all backstopped by
legally-binding emission reduction caps.
    "This would have been a good start 10 years ago, but we're down to the
11th hour and time is running out for avoiding dangerous climate change," said
Lorne Johnson, Ottawa Bureau Director for WWF-Canada. "In the best interests
of the planet, the government should take another hard look at the scientific
evidence, public opinion and the economic costs of delay, and take action
accordingly."

    This news release and associated material can be found on wwf.ca.




For further information:

For further information: Maggie MacDonald, Communications Manager,
WWF-Canada, (416) 484-7728, mmacdonald@wwfcanada.org; Julia Langer, Director,
Global Threats, WWF-Canada, (647) 400-9579, jlanger@wwfcanada.org; Lorne
Johnson, Director Ottawa Bureau, WWF-Canada, (613) 852-1316,
ljohnson@wwfcanada.org


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