Note to editors: This information is being formally released now
(10:30 AM Mountain Time) at a press conference at the following location:
Christ Lutheran Church, 4825 Dewdney Avenue, Regina, Saskatchewan.
REGINA, Aug. 6 /CNW Telbec/ - A coalition of leading Canadian
organizations is calling on premiers meeting today in Regina to agree to more
ambitious climate change action and targets for Canada. With only months to go
before the most important United Nations climate change conference to date,
the groups argue that all provinces, including Alberta, should do their fair
and equitable share.
"If leading provinces don't stand up and demand that every province does
its fair share, we all lose," said Jeh Custer of Sierra Club of Canada.
"Rising greenhouse gas pollution from Alberta is overwhelming the efforts made
in other provinces. For Canada to succeed, we all need to do our fair share."
"Other provinces shouldn't have to pay the freight for massive greenhouse
gas pollution from Alberta and Saskatchewan," said Dave Martin of Greenpeace
Canada. "Alberta has reaped huge economic benefits from the tar sands - now
it's time to pay the piper."
The groups also argue that the federal government's stubborn refusal to
engage constructively with other industrialized countries is becoming an
international embarrassment. In this context, groups ask the premiers to show
the way forward for Canada by:
- Supporting emissions reduction targets of at least 25 percent below
1990 levels by the year 2020, in line with what scientists currently
tell us is necessary to avoid the worst impacts of climate change.
- Insisting that any national system for regulating industrial
greenhouse gas pollution has to be fair to all economic sectors and
regions. Tar sands emissions must not be allowed to continue to rise,
nor to skew the system in a way that negatively affects other regions
- Insisting that Canada do its fair share to help poor countries adapt
to the impacts of climate change and adopt clean energy technology.
While some provinces have taken the right steps to fight global warming,
others are lagging behind. Separate briefings released today by the David
Suzuki Foundation and the Pembina Institute illustrate the growing gap between
provincial climate change leaders and the provinces of Alberta and
Saskatchewan (see below).
"In less than five months the international community will come together
in Copenhagen, Denmark, to finalize a successor treaty to the Kyoto Protocol,"
said Hugo Seguin of Equiterre. "It's time to be honest about the fact that
Canadian policy is being held hostage by the tar sands."
"Canadians want to be part of the solution to climate change. But
citizens can't do it alone. They expect the premiers and Prime Minister to
work constructively to ensure that Canada implements an effective climate
action plan to reduce emissions with strong science-based targets," says Ian
Bruce, climate change specialist with the David Suzuki Foundation.
"Across the country, Canadians are saying that they care about climate
change and are trying to do their part," said Graham Saul of Climate Action
Network Canada. "It is not fair that our efforts are being wiped out by big
business refusing to clean up its act."
Today's David Suzuki Foundation briefing can be found at
The Pembina Institute's briefing, entitled "Highlights of Provincial
Greenhouse Gas Reduction Plans", can be found at: http://climate.pembina.org.
Climate Action Network Canada - Réseau action climat Canada is a
nation-wide coalition of more than 50 environmental, faith, development,
labour, aboriginal, health, and youth organizations committed to making action
on climate change by Canada a reality.
For further information:
For further information: The following people are in Regina and
available for comment: Hugo Seguin, Equiterre: (514) 247-1006; Dave Martin,
Greenpeace Canada: (416) 627-5004; Ian Bruce, David Suzuki Foundation: (604)
306-5095; Jeh Custer, Sierra Club of Canada: (780) 660-5483; Graham Saul,
Climate Action Network Canada: (613) 558-3368