Report – Canada could salvage botched climate record by 2020 if committed to change

Intro

Canada stands a fighting chance at meeting its 2020 emission targets if it expanded climate policies already in place, according to a report by the David Suzuki Foundation. The findings note that that a federal policy program modeled after existing provincial policies in effect in British Columbia, Quebec, Ontario and Nova Scotia could curb rising emissions in the country — largely due to tar sands related projects — and help Canada achieve the national emissions targets agreed upon at the 2009 Copenhagen climate talks. As it stands, Environment Canada has announced that Canada will only make it halfway to its committed global targets at it’s current rate. While there are ongoing calls for Canada to scale back its full-throttle fossil fuel extraction, Prime Minister Harper has instead opted to use his platform to dismiss such demands as “crazy” — despite the success of a carbon tax program in British Columbia, along with others similar schemes already in place in many OECD countries.

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RT @CYD_DJC That bitumen looks tasty. JK! We demand oil & gas emissions in Canada’s commitment pledge! #TarSandsOnTheTable #COP20

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Hashtags in use: #TarSandsOnTheTable, #COP20

Key Points

  • While Harper may try to woo Canadians with musical talents, it isn’t enough to camouflage his questionable decisions affecting Canada’s environmental future. This week, Canada’s Prime Minister delivered his best rendition of Guns N’ Roses’ famed hit “Sweet Child O’ Mine” at a conservative Christmas party, taking the internet by a storm. Despite the press rounds this tune has gotten, it hasn’t been enough to deter citizens, politicians, and NGOs from pushing back on his administration’s ill-advised energy policies and his cabinet”s “arrogance” as UN climate talks are underway in Lima.
  • Canada is behind the curve in the global transition towards a cleaner future. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon made an exclusive appearance on Canada’s public broadcaster The National — amid hectic climate talks — to galvanize public support to do more on climate change. Meanwhile in Lima, following U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry’s address to delegates, SustainUs and the Canadian Youth Climate Coalition demonstrated together urging leaders to move away from tar sands projects such as Keystone XL, and join the rest of the world in the transition towards renewables.
  • He may not be listening now, but Prime Minister Harper is left with little to no choice but to start tuning in to demands to act on climate with his leadership at stake. NGOs, scientists, and citizens are all demanding action — Canada, along with the rest of the world, must phase out of fossil fuel industries in order to secure a safe and pollution-free future.  With federal elections coming up next year, voters won’t tolerate pipelines that threaten the land and water all the while driving climate change, especially if it implicates Canada’s reputation on the international stage.

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Key Quotes

  • “By adopting the strongest policies already in place in parts of the country, Canada could develop a unifying climate change strategy that would allow us to meet our international commitments and targets.” – David Suzuki Foundation science and policy manager Ian Bruce
  • “It’s only natural that Canada as one of the G7 countries should take a leadership role.”- Ban Ki-moon, UN Secretary General
  • “Canada has come to Lima empty handed. We demand that the Canadian government put the tar sands on the negotiating table in a meaningful way. We deserve a fair, ambitious, and binding climate deal. And there’s no climate policy without the tar sands. We deserve better.” – Brenna Owen, Member of the Canada Youth Delegation

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