September 9, 2008, Toronto– 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 both.”
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 done.”
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 more information, please contact:
Natalie Southworth, communications coordinator, (514) 509-1458
Eveline Trudel-Fugère, French media coordinator, (514) 522-2000 ext.303