KYOTOplus coalition delivers petition to Harper demanding climate action

OTTAWA, Oct. 22 /CNW Telbec/ - Canada's KYOTOplus climate coalition today raised giant banners on Parliament Hill displaying names from petitions signed by 100,000 Canadians demanding action from the Harper government on the climate crisis.

The coalition, representing 100 groups, raised two banners, totalling 220 feet in length, as a backdrop for a news conference demanding Canadian climate action. The banners dramatically displayed the names of signatories to the KYOTOplus petition that calls on the Harper government to meet science-based targets for reducing Canada's greenhouse gas emissions by 2020. Following the news conference, representatives of the coalition delivered a list of petition signatories to the Prime Minister's office.

"Canadians will no longer tolerate the Harper government blocking progress at climate change negotiations, and refusing to take the climate crisis in Canada seriously," said Dave Martin, Greenpeace climate and energy co-ordinator. "With the most important climate talks in history in Copenhagen less than two months away, it's time for Stephen Harper to lead, follow, or get out of the way."

At recent climate change negotiations in Bangkok, Thailand, Canada prompted a walk-out by developing negotiations when it called for a new treaty, instead of strengthening and extending the existing Kyoto Protocol.

"Green energy can kick start a new 21st century economy. It's time for the federal government to support a renewable energy system that creates green jobs," said Graham Saul, Executive Director of the Climate Action Network.

"Faith communities see action on climate change as a matter of ecological sustainability, and justice for those who are suffering the impacts of a crisis they had no part in creating" said Sara Stratton of KAIROS, Canadian Ecumenical Justice Initiatives.

"Justice demands that the wealthy nations provide aid for the developing world to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and adapt to climate change impacts. Canada must do its part," said Hasnat Ahsan, Outreach Officer for Oxfam Canada.

Canada's record on climate change makes it one of the worst in the world. KYOTOplus groups are calling on federal politicians to pass the Climate Change Accountability Act (Bill C-311), currently being debated by Parliament. The Bill, called the "KYOTOplus Bill," supports the KYOTOplus call for Canada to reduce greenhouse gas emissions at least 25 per cent below 1990 levels by 2020, and 80 per cent by 2050.

The KYOTOplus coalition will continue collecting petition signatures in the lead-up to the United Nations climate change conference in Copenhagen, December 7-18.The petition will be delivered to Prime Minister Harper and to Connie Hedegaard, Danish Minister for Climate and Energy, and president of the Copenhagen conference.

High resolution photos will be available shortly at gallery.greenpeace.ca

Editors: The KYOTOplus coalition includes groups as diverse as Greenpeace, the Canadian Labour Congress, Oxfam, the Canadian Islamic Congress, Amnesty International, and the Canadian Federation of Students.

SOURCE Green News

For further information: For further information: Catherine Vézina, Communications, Greenpeace, (514) 212-5749; Dave Martin, Greenpeace climate and energy coordinator, (416) 627-5004; Graham Saul, Executive Director of the Climate Action Network, (613) 558-3368; Sara Stratton, KAIROS, (416) 580-8392; Hasnat Ahsan, Outreach Officer for Oxfam Canada, (416) 708-0273

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