Conservatives isolated on their wait-and-see approach for the UN Climate Summit in Copenhagen | National Union of Public and General Employees

Conservatives isolated on their wait-and-see approach for the UN Climate Summit in Copenhagen

Members of Parliament vote in favor of more ambitious action at the United Nations Climate Summit



Ottawa (November 25, 2009) - Canadian parliament has sent an unambiguous message that they do not agree with the current minority federal government's climate change strategy. In a vote yesterday afternoon on a Bloc Quebecois motion to take a more ambitious position going into the United Nations Climate Summit in Copenhagen in less than two weeks, the three opposition parties voted in favor of the motion, with a count of 137 to 124.

This result comes less than a week after the release of polling that shows that over 75% of Canadians are embarrassed by the current government’s lack of leadership on climate change.

"The federal government needs to take this motion into account if it is going to maintain that it is representing Canadians," says Graham Saul of Climate Action Network Canada. "The majority of the house of commons believe that we need to take stronger action on climate change, which is in line with the majority of Canadians who feel the same way."

The Bloc motion recommends that Canada go to Copenhagen with a position that encompasses three points as follows:

1. A 25% reduction domestically in greenhouse gas emissions by 2020 based on 1990 levels,

2. The need to limit the rise in average global temperatures to below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels,

3. Support for developing countries in their efforts to adapt to climate change and to reduce their own greenhouse gas emissions.

These three points, if adopted as the mandate for the current government’s negotiating position, would significantly change the global perception of Canada as a spoiler and a laggard going into these critical talks.

"With only weeks to go, this is a symbolic decision that reminds the world that there is leadership in Canada, and that the majority of our members of parliament understand the urgency of the upcoming climate summit," says Steven Guilbeault of Equiterre. "We have to remind our current government that it is their job to represent us, they have an obligation to listen. A fair, ambitious and binding deal is possible in Copenhagen, we just need our government to show the political will."

All eyes will be on Copenhagen from the 7th - 18th of December as over 60 heads of state gather in Copenhagen to push for a deal.

As of today Prime Minister Harper has stated that he will not be attending the negotiations.


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