With Provincial Government support of $10,000, bike riders departed from St. John’s today as part of Pedal for the Planet – a nation-wide effort to educate Canadians about the significance of global warming and the importance of the upcoming climate change meetings in Copenhagen in December.
On the other end of the country, the Pedal for the Planet initiative was also launched in Victoria, British Columbia. Both teams have a goal of reaching Ottawa on September 14.
In St. John’s, a number of environmental and development organizations – Oxfam, NL Environment Network, Sierra Club of Canada-Atlantic Chapter, Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society-Newfoundland and Labrador Chapter, World Wildlife Federation-Newfoundland and Labrador, the Canadian Federation of Students, Memorial University Students Union, OceanNet and BikeShare – together form the Newfoundland and Labrador KyotoPlus Coalition and are participating in the 12-day event to bike across the island portion of the province.
“We are delighted to help support this worthwhile endeavour to help focus attention on the seriousness of climate change impacts on our province and the country as a whole,” said the Honourable Charlene Johnson, Minister of Environment and Conservation. “For a province with such a coastal-based population, climate change impacts will include more storm surges, flooding and coastal erosion, and we need to continue to build awareness around this important issue and work toward finding viable solutions.”
The Pedal for the Planet tour includes stops in Clarenville, Gander, Grand Falls-Windsor, Corner Brook, Stephenville, Codroy Valley and Port aux Basques. Each of these communities will host a public event to highlight key concerns about climate change, including local impacts and how residents can realize positive change through their actions.
“We are most appreciative of the support provided by the Provincial Government to help educate more people about our collective need to control global warming,” said Bill Hynd, Newfoundland and Labrador KyotoPlus Coalition and Campaigns Co-ordinator for Oxfam Canada. “We also need the Government of Canada to show real leadership in the upcoming climate change meetings in Copenhagen.”
In 2012, the Kyoto Protocol to prevent climate change and global warming will expire. The parties of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) meet for the last time on a government level in Copenhagen in December 2009 before the climate agreement needs to be renewed. It is anticipated that the Copenhagen conference will result in a new, international climate change agreement for the post-2012 period.
Budget 2009: Building on Our Strong Foundation allocated $1.3 million towards the development of the necessary tools, policies and strategies to help communities in Newfoundland and Labrador assess and adapt to climate change impacts, in recognition of the necessity to not only reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, but also prepare for the eventual impacts of climate change.