Canada must step up at climate change talks

Ottawa – Canada must quickly reverse its obstructionist position to break the deadlock and secure a strong agreement at the UN Climate Summit in December, according to the David Suzuki Foundation and scientist-author Tim Flannery.

“For the sake of all the world’s people, economy, and environment, we need an effective global climate treaty now,” says Dr. Flannery, scientist, author of Now or Never and The Weather Makers. Dr. Flannery is also chair of the Copenhagen Climate Council, a global collaboration between business and science founded by the leading independent think tank in Scandinavia, Monday Morning, based in Copenhagen.

This December Canada will join representatives from countries spanning the world for a crucial UN summit on climate change in Copenhagen. This summit is the deadline for all the world’s countries to come to a strong and fair climate change agreement that will continue and strengthen the Kyoto Protocol–the existing international climate treaty.

Tim Flannery is concerned that progress toward a treaty in Copenhagen has been too slow. “It’s disappointing to see Canada largely unengaged in what former World Bank chief economist Lord Stern has called the most important global meeting of this century,” he says. Canada is falling behind in achieving the targets scientists tell us we need to avoid runaway climate change. Canada is now one of the top 10 global warming polluters in the world.

“Canada is at a crossroads: We can seize this opportunity to work with leaders to move the global economy toward innovation, clean energy and wiser use of our energy resources or we can argue about who’s to blame and remain tied to old, inefficient, and polluting industries,” says Dale Marshall, climate policy analyst with the David Suzuki Foundation.

“The business community wants an effective outcome, and Canada can still play an important role,” Dr. Flannery says. “It is not too late for Canada to step up. The most important contribution now would be for Canada to go to Copenhagen and negotiate in good faith to secure a fair, ambitious, and binding agreement.”

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