Toronto – A report released today in advance of Prime Minister Harper’s visit to the White House demonstrates the gulf between him and President Obama on climate change. A parody of the Conservative Party “just visiting” attack ad has been put up on YouTube to accompany the report (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p4oijHlNtao )
“The Harper government has a fundamentally dishonest approach to climate change,” said Dr. Rick Smith, Executive Director of Environmental Defence. “They are telling Canadians that they are both keeping pace with Obama and following the advice of science, while in reality they are seeking pollution loopholes for the fastest growing source of emissions in the tar sands, and demonstrably not doing what science says is needed.”
The White House visit is expected to announce some results from the “Clean Energy Dialogue,” a consolation prize announced during Obama’s February trip to Ottawa when it became clear the U.S. wasn’t picking up on Harper’s desire for a North American agreement on climate and energy that protected the tar sands against emissions cuts. The Dialogue is far removed from effective emissions reductions laws.
Among the findings of the report:
    * While saying they are following the U.S., the Harper government is trying to insert loopholes for polluters into its cap and trade design
    * At the recent G8, the Harper government initially accepted the critical two degree threshold for climate warming, then repudiated that position 24 hours later
    * Harper is falling massively behind the U.S. and other countries on green stimulus to create tomorrow’s jobs
“Harper needs to stop just visiting Obama on climate and get real,” said Smith. “We have just a few months until international climate negotiations in Copenhagen, and so far Canada is on track to show up as the industrial world’s biggest embarrassment on global warming.”
The report, “Just Visiting: Stephen Harper’s Climate Insincerity” is available to download on the Environmental Defence web site – www.environmentaldefence.ca.
About Environmental Defence (www.environmentaldefence.ca): Environmental Defence protects the environment and human health. We research solutions. We educate. We go to court when we have to. All in order to ensure clean air, clean water and thriving ecosystems nationwide, and to bring a halt to Canada’s contribution to climate change.
 
– 30 –
 
For more information or to arrange interviews contact,
Jennifer Foulds, Environmental Defence, (416) 323-9521 ext. 232: (647) 280-9521 (cell)