Former prime ministers, business leaders, climate scientists call for tougher climate action by federal government

    TORONTO, Sept. 9 /CNW/ - With a federal election underway, a diverse
group of influential Canadians, including former prime ministers along with
leaders in academia, science, business, civil society and environmental
advocacy, have taken the unprecedented step of uniting to demand more be done
to solve climate change in Canada.
    Former prime ministers Paul Martin, Joe Clark, Kim Campbell and John
Turner joined Stephen Bronfman, the Hon. David Peterson, Prof. David Keith,
Katherine Giroux-Bougard, National Chairperson, Canadian Federation of
Students, Prof. Andrew Weaver from the IPCC and the University of Victoria,
Ken Neumann, National Director for Canada, United Steelworkers, Kashmere
Dahliwal, President of North America's largest Sihk temple and Dr. Marlo
Raynolds from the Pembina Institute, among others, to release a statement
today clarifying for Canadians what is needed to solve the problem of global
warming in this country.
    "I am very concerned by the lack of decisive action by Ottawa on climate
change," said the Right Honourable Joe Clark. "We are falling further behind
other comparable nations, and simply cannot afford another round of posturing
and denial in this next election - more than ever, we need a clear and honest
commitment by all parties for strong, simple and effective climate laws."
    The statement calls for immediate efforts to ensure dramatic emissions
cuts and investments to "deploy climate-safe technologies at a staggering
rate." Cutting through the partisan debates, the statement signatories agree
that unleashing the ingenuity of the market can be done through cap & trade
systems or carbon taxes or the two in combination as long as the carbon price
is set economy-wide at an initial level not less than $30/tonne.
    "This statement marries the best science with a deep understanding of the
engineering and economic realities of managing carbon. It is the most
compelling and viable approach to solving the climate crisis I've seen to date
in Canada," says the director of the Institute for Sustainable Energy,
Environment and Economy David Keith, who helped develop the new
recommendations. "We need to stop the time wasting debate about regulations
versus carbon pricing. The nations that are leading climate action are using
    Today's announcement is being made by Canadians for Climate Leadership
(CCL), a new national non-partisan initiative formed to stimulate policy
action coast to coast through public mobilization, climate education, online
organizing and policy analysis. CCL will be launching a new public campaign,
PowerUP Canada, tomorrow in Toronto.
    "When it comes to tackling climate change, there has been a persistent
void at the highest political levels in this country," said the Right
Honourable Kim Campbell. "Canadians deserve and want more, which is why we
need to work together to make strong laws and policies that will get the job
    CCL will also be meeting with all federal parties to discuss the
statement and related policy recommendations while continuing to convene
leaders from diverse sectors and Canadians from all walks of life to find
consensus on Canada's climate policy.
    "With the historic lack of decisive action in Canada, many of us felt
compelled to do something and unite," said John Roy, a founder of Canada's
largest industrial real estate investment trust and one of the initiators
behind the climate statement. "For me, it comes down to a very real motivator
- how can I look my grandsons in the eye and tell them I not only helped let
it happen, but that I didn't do anything about it?"

For further information:

For further information: Natalie Southworth, communications coordinator,
(514) 509-1458; Eveline Trudel-Fugère, French media coordinator, (514)
522-2000 ext.303

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