Ottawa (March 19, 2007) The Green Budget Coalition expressed today that measures in the 2007 federal budget were simply insufficient for Canada to adequately address climate change.
“Climate change is the most fundamental environmental challenge we face,” explained Julie Gelfand, Coalition Chair, and Nature Canada President. “Canadians are clamouring for action.”
“Yet this budget does not provide adequate funding nor fiscal measures for the “massive scale-up of effort” which the Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development emphasized was necessary to properly address climate change, in her 2006 Report.”
The Green Budget Coalition brings together 20 of Canada’s leading environmental and conservation groups to submit priority recommendations for each annual federal budget, and to advance the understanding and use of ecological fiscal reform (EFR).
“The Coalition does commend the government for initiating action on all five of the Coalition’s priority recommendations for the 2007 budget,” said Gelfand, “particularly on nature conservation and in utilizing ecological fiscal reform. They took some noteworthy steps.”
Welcome measures for nature and human health protection in the budget included funding for:
· More effective protection of species at risk ($110 million)
· Protected areas in the Northwest Territories ($10 million)
· Conserving ecologically sensitive private lands ($225 million)
· Creating nine new marine protected areas
· Administering the Canadian Environmental Protection Act ($300 million from 2006 budget)
The Coalition also highlighted two modest, though groundbreaking, steps towards broader ecological fiscal reform in Canada:
Phasing out the accelerated capital cost allowance (ACCA) for the oil sands by 2015; and
A measure to encourage the purchase of fuel-efficient vehicles by charging a carbon tax on new gas-guzzling automobiles and providing a rebate on highly efficient cars.
However, on climate change, this budget has largely served to reverse the government’s 2006 cuts to pre-existing climate change programs, and to bring climate change funding back to 2005 levels.
The Coalition firmly believes that a successful “scale-up of effort” to address climate change requires a comprehensive, well-funded strategy that reduces greenhouse gas emissions from all major sources in Canada, and includes ambitious targets and measures for:
1) Energy Efficiency – to transform how each of us uses power, heat, and fuels.
2) Renewable Energy – to make renewable energy the primary energy source of the 21st Century.
3) Fiscal policy – to integrate environmental values into market prices by putting a price on greenhouse gas emissions.
The Green Budget Coalition’s members include Bird Studies Canada, Canadian Environmental Law Association, Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society, Centre for Integral Economics, David Suzuki Foundation, Ducks Unlimited Canada, Environmental Defence, Équiterre, Friends of the Earth Canada, Greenpeace Canada, International Institute for Sustainable Development, MiningWatch Canada, Nature Canada, Nature Conservancy of Canada, Pembina Institute, Pollution Probe, Sierra Club of Canada, Sierra Legal, Social Investment Organization, and World Wildlife Fund Canada.
Green Budget Coalition contacts:
· Julie Gelfand, Chair, cell 613-858-5029, office 613-562-3447 ext. 231, firstname.lastname@example.org
· Andrew Van Iterson, Program Manger, 613-562-3447 ext. 243; email@example.com.
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