Political Representatives and Civil Society Groups Demand Canada Support Kyoto Continuation at Cancun Climate Talks
For Immediate Release
(Cancun) With the UN climate talks in Cancun set to wrap up on Friday, political representatives and civil society organizations came together to call on the federal government to support a second phase of the Kyoto Protocol. Labour, First Nations, environmental, youth, development, and faith groups called on the Government of Canada to back away from its current position on Kyoto, which threatens to derail the Cancun talks.
Canada has been named as one of a handful of countries at this conference blocking agreement on the continuation of the Kyoto Protocol. More than 180 countries are calling for the continuation of this critical international treaty, the only legally-binding international instrument that requires cuts to greenhouse gas pollution.
“Opposition parties are sending a clear message today. The attitude of the Canadian government here in Cancun is putting the architecture of the Kyoto Protocol at risk.”
-Bernard Bigras, Environment Critic, Bloc Quebecois MP
“President Calderon has inspired enthusiasm for a strengthened and substantive Cancun agreement. Canada must stand with its North American partner and commit to binding greenhouse gas reductions in an extended Kyoto agreement and expedite the needed regulatory and fiscal measures.”
-Linda Duncan, Environment Critic, New Democratic Party MP
“For the last fifteen years, I’ve been a witness of the extraordinary leadership that our country had shown on many occasions, both under Conservative and Liberal governments. Now, I only witness the destructive role that Canada is playing by opposing to the continuation of the Kyoto Protocol. Today, we are at a crossroads. Canada can try to kill the only existing international treaty we have to face the most important challenge humanity as ever faced. Or, Canada can show leadership and act to protect the climate.”
-Steven Guilbeault, Deputy Director, Équiterre
“Hundreds of thousands of Canadian workers are calling on the Harper
government to hold onto Kyoto as THE legitimate foundation on which to
build a fair, equitable and binding agreement.”
-Karen Hawley, National Representative for the NUPGE, the National Union of Public and General Employees.
“The Kyoto process must be continued, ambitious targets have to be set and we have to lead, not follow — not the U.S. or any other country — in protecting our citizens and solving the practical world-wide challenge of climate change. Canada can and must do better.”
-Gerard Kennedy, Environment Critic, Liberal Party MP
“The position of the Canadian government does not represent the will of provinces, Parliament, or Canadians, and especially not of our generation. By obstructing the Kyoto process and failing to take ambitious action domestically, Canada is acting directly against the interests of all young Canadians.”
-Maggie Knight, member of the Canadian Youth Delegation to COP16
“Canada once was respected for international leadership. In 1988, we hosted the first global scientific climate conference. In 1992, we were the first industrialized country to ratify the framework convention. Action by Canada helped save the Kyoto Protocol when the Bush Administration tried to kill it. And in 2005, Canada’s hosting of COP11 helped the world find the path to these negotiations. Tragically, since 2006, Canada has been laying roadside bombs on the road to a continued agreement. We have lost credibility and respect around the world.”
-Elizabeth May, Leader, Federal Green Party of Canada, O.C.
“Canada can do better in the areas mitigation and adaptation, both domestically and internationally. One only needs to look at the situation in northern areas of Canada to see negative impacts of climate change. We really need to work collectively in Canada to develop innovative programs to put our own house in order before making demands on developing nations. Only then can Canada work internationally to curb further releases of greenhouse gasses.”
-Regional Chief Eric Morris, Assembly of First Nations
“It’s time for the federal government to get its head out of the sand and realize that it’s offside with the country it claims to represent. Climate change is a non-partisan issue whose impacts are already being felt by people around the world. We’ve come together today to call for an end to this government’s reckless, do-nothing approach.”
-Graham Saul, Executive Director, Climate Action Network Canada
For high definition photos of the press conference: http://www.flickr.com/photos/can-canada/?saved=1
Video of the press conference from the UN will be available on demand here: http://webcast.cc2010.mx/grid_en.html in the coming hours (Climate Action Network Canada press conference – 9:30am Dec.9th, Luna room)
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