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NEWS RELEASE · 6th December 2010
Lack of government leadership means Canada will go to climate talks empty-handed

Linda Duncan, New Democrat Environment Critic, today called on the federal government to take positive leadership before leaving to join the Canadian Delegation and the Climate negotiations underway in Cancun.

“Canada’s Minister is heading to another round of climate negotiations empty handed once again,” said Duncan. “The Harper government’s ‘all for one and one for all’ approach to North American efforts to cut emissions holds no water when, unlike the United States and other nations, Canada has failed to invest in a clean energy economy.”

The Harper government’s excuse for continued delay has been its aim of harmonized standards with the US. Yet as US federal rules for new and expanded large industrial sources come into effect in a month, our government has failed to set out its proposed standards.

“Mr. Baird asserts a similar approach is impossible due to differences between the US and Canadian jurisdictional authority on pollution control. However, the long-standing Canadian practice is similar to that of the US federal-state practice,” stated Duncan. “The federal government prescribes standards at the federal level which are imposed on projects through provincial permits.”

“Promised federal regulations to limit growing greenhouse gas emissions – including from the oil sands and coal fired power – which could help us meet our international commitments, are nowhere in sight, and our emissions continue to grow,” said Duncan.

“Canada arrives in Cancun with no progress to report. Instead, we are backsliding on reductions and flouting an international treaty we signed and ratified. However, there is still hope.”

New Democrat Deputy Leader, Thomas Mulcair (Outremont), pointed out that Cancun represents a real opportunity for Canada to move forward on climate change. “We will hear about solutions and alternatives from around the world showcased at the conference. New Democrats will push the government to bring these innovative ideas and technologies home, and start a real dialogue with Canadians on a made-in-Canada clean energy strategy which delivers on our commitments.”