WWF-Canada Blog:

Canada’s climate bill makes it to 3rd base

The position of the Liberal caucus was not unanimous or certain before a motion was put forward yesterday. The Opposition Motion put forward by Member of Parliament David McGuinty yesterday was not only well-written, issue inclusive, and forward-thinking, it also included crucial goals, time-lines and events that Canada must focus on in order to engage with other world leaders on cutting emissions.

Two elements of the motion are particularly important and significant given Canada’s role as host to the G8 and G20 Summits in June:

  • Follow through on Canada’s commitment at the G20 Summit in Pittsburgh in 2009 to phase out inefficient fossil fuel subsidies and report on implementation.
  • Restore Canada’s tarnished international environmental reputation by implementing Canada’s international commitment made during the Copenhagen negotiations to provide our fair share of new climate change financing for developing countries to support their adaptation and mitigation efforts to deal with the climate change crisis.

To show true leadership as host to this year’s G8 and G20 Summits, Canada must follow through on its commitments to climate financing and getting rid of fossil fuel subsidies. This is especially important to address energy security and to play a strong role in the clean energy economy.

WWF-Canada supports*  Canada in:

  • submitting its fair share of $300-$400 million per year between 2010 and 2012 before the G8 Summit;
  • putting forward a plan and time-line to phase out inefficient fossil fuel subsidies before the G20 Summit;
  • ensuring short- and long-term climate financing is both on the G8 and G20 Summit agendas respectively; and
  • organizing a G8 and G20 Environment Ministers Meeting in advance of both Summits.**

The timing of this motion and the movement of Bill C-311, drafted by the New Democratic Party of Canada, is important given the G8 Sherpas are meeting in Whistler, British Columbia today and tomorrow to discuss the G8 agenda. These meetings are to be followed by consultations with representatives of international civil society groups. Canada is the host of the G8 being held in Huntsville, Ontario in June of this year.

Climate financing being discussed at various multi-lateral forums will help countries come to the table at the next United Nations climate change conference in November in Mexico  prepared to make final decision. This movement made yesterday made it possible for Canada to move forward one step further on climate change legislation. Today, every Member of Parliament who voted in favour deserves our applause – and I hope we give it to them with utmost due diligence.

* WWF-Canada’s climate financing asks of the Canadian Government can be found in this recent letter.

** This is the first year in the past two decades that the G8 host government has not organized an Environmental Ministers preparation meeting.applause-2

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