'People's submission' hits Canada on climate change
A network of leading non-governmental organizations has made a People’s Submission to the United Nations (UN) on behalf of over 150,000 Canadians who have signed the KyotoPlus petition against Canada’s poor record on climate change.
The submission was made this week with the approach of the Jan. 31 deadline for countries to indicate what actions they are committed to taking under the Copenhagen Accord.
The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is a member of the Climate Action Network of Canada (CANC).
“The Canadian government has been consistently out of step with the majority in parliament, the Canadian public and provincial governments when it comes to climate change,” says Dale Marshall of the David Suzuki Foundation.
“For this reason we feel that it is important to make a submission to the UN on what Canada really wants to do, which is contribute to a fair, ambitious and binding deal.”
The CANC believes that the accord is nowhere near the international deal that will be needed to prevent dangerous climate change. It says world leaders must use 2010 to negotiate a legally-binding agreement under a transparent UN framework that includes a second phase of the Kyoto Protocol.
In the meantime the submission by the groups is intended to be a symbolic gesture of where Canadians want their government to be on the issue.
"Canadians want the world to know our government does not represent our views on climate action,” says John Bennett, executive director of Sierra Club Canada. “Only through this People's Submission to the United Nations will we be heard."
Graham Saul of CANC says it is important to send a message the Harper government a message. "Do Nothing is not an acceptable position in the face of this global challenge,” he says .
The People’s Submission was submitted this week for consideration by the UN along with other submissions by individual countries. It proposes commitments to reach far more ambitious targets than now exist to reduce greenhouse gas pollution within Canada. It also says Canada should commit to taking responsibility for a fair share of the financing required to help poor countries adapt to climate change and to adopt clean energy technologies.