Liberal MPs vote today on Climate Change Accountability Act

Media release from Sierra Club Canada:

Sierra Club Canada is urging Liberal Members of Parliament to vote in favour of Bill C-311, the Climate Change Accountability Act, when the House of Commons votes on the second reading of the bill on Wednesday.  The vote to send the bill to committee for further study will depend on Liberal MPs, as the Bloc Québécois and NDP are expected to support the bill and the Conservatives are expected to oppose it.

“[Today’s] vote is an opportunity for each MP to demonstrate to their constituents where they stand on climate action, and to live up to their previous commitments,” said Stephen Hazell, Executive Director of Sierra Club Canada.  “We are encouraged by the fact that 50 Liberal MPs have signed the Kyotoplus pledge, a written promise to their constituents to support the same policies reflected in Bill C-311.”

Signatories to the Kyotoplus pledge declared that: As an elected official, I will work to ensure that Canada honours its Kyoto commitment and sets a national target of cutting its greenhouse gas emissions by at least 25 per cent, relative to the 1990 level, by 2020.  I will also work to ensure that Canada has a credible plan to meet our 2020 target.

“A framed copy of the Climate Change Accountability Act passed by the House of Commons last year hangs in the Sierra Youth Coalition office, and it means a lot to us,” said Youri Cormier, Director of the Sierra Youth Coalition.  “This legislation is a promise by the House of Commons to youth, in effect stating those in power today are listening to our concerns and will take the measures necessary to protect future generations from a climate catastrophe.  With only 250 days before the Copenhagen international climate negotiations, we need Parliament to stop dithering and accept science-based targets.”

Bill C-311 complements the Kyoto Protocol Implementation Act, a private member’s bill introduced by Liberal MP Pablo Rodriguez and enacted by the last Parliament.  The Kyoto Protocol Implementation Act sets out requirements for planning and reporting on progress in achieving Canada’s 2012 Kyoto greenhouse gas emissions reduction targets.  Bill C-311, a private member’s bill introduced by NDP MP Bruce Hyer, adopts a similar structure and requirements for planning and reporting in order to achieve medium-term (2020) and long-term (2050) emissions reduction targets.  

The Liberal Party is expected to allow a free vote by its MPs in the house.  Leader of the Opposition Michael Ignatieff and 26 other Liberal MPs have not yet signed the Kyotoplus pledge.

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