Tzeporah Berman: It’s time for Canada to confront its climate neglect

• March 8, 2013
Tzeporah Berman

Creative Commons: Kris Krug for Static Photography, 2009

U.S. President Barack Obama, through his ambassador to Canada, has every right to ask our federal government to do more to fight climate change. The United States is on track to meet its climate targets. Sunday in Washington, more than 30,000 people took part in the largest climate rally in U.S. history. Mr. Obama has committed more than $90-billion for clean energy. He recently made fighting climate change a major priority for his second term.

What’s happening in Canada? After U.S. Ambassador David Jacobson delivered the president’s message, the federal government issued a press statement headed, “Harper government continues to make concrete progress in environmental sustainability.” Nothing could be further from the truth. And Environment Minister Peter Kent’s response that “we are now well into and very close to finalizing regulations for the oil and gas sector” makes him the fourth Canadian minister in seven years to have made that exact same promise. Seven years and nothing.

The government’s own analysis finds we’ll only get halfway to Canada’s weakened 2020 goal. Yet there is not one federal regulation on climate pollution from the oil sands. Meanwhile oil-sands emissions continue to soar.

Unfortunately this is just the start. To expedite pipeline approvals, the federal government used its 2012 federal budget bill to force through sweeping changes to environmental laws that could have stood in the way of rapid pipeline approval. The government has also cut support for climate research.

The fact is that the government and industry plan to triple oil sands production in the next seven years.

Read more: The Globe and Mail >>

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About the Author

Karl Burkart is the Digital Communications Director for the GCCA, the Global Call for Climate Action, and TckTckTck, a network of 400+ diverse organizations working around the world for greater action on the growing problem of climate change. Karl also blogs on technology and the environment for a variety of publications. You can follow him on Twitter @greendig.

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