Climate Accountability Act One Step Closer to Becoming Law

Just heard – Canada’s Climate Change Accountability Act, Bill C311, has just passed its final vote in the House of Commons tonight, with 149 votes for and 136 against. Now it’s on to the Senate.

Here’s what The Council of Canadians, who have been active in working to move this bill through the House, had to say:

Today’s passage of the Climate Change Accountability Act (Bill C-311) is a step in the right direction but much more is needed, warns the Council of Canadians.

“The passage of C-311 has been a long time coming and it is certainly good to see Parliament support it,” says Andrea Harden-Donahue, Climate Justice Campaigner with the Council of Canadians. “While the Council of Canadians is celebrating the passage of C-311 and we want to see it pass the Senate, we believe that this is just a starting point.”

“We are faced not only with the challenge of ensuring our government puts in place plans that will effectively achieve these emissions reduction targets,” says Harden-Donahue in reference to the Harper government’s track record of ignoring the will of Parliament. “The fact is that many global South countries and movements are calling for even greater responsibility on the part of countries like ours, for climate debt repayment.”

In disproportionately contributing to the historical carbon emissions causing the current crisis, climate debt asserts responsibility on the part of developed countries for deeper emission cuts and climate mitigation and adaptation funding for the global South.

The Council of Canadians recent experiences at an international climate conference in Cochabamba, Bolivia, affirm there is growing support for even deeper emission reduction targets by developed countries, and the need for concrete plans to transition off of fossil fuel dependency.

The World Peoples’ Conference on Climate Change and the Rights of Mother Earth anticipated 8,000 participants and representatives of 50 governments. Governments of more than 70 countries were present, along with civil society representatives of nearly 130 countries and an estimated 41,000 participants.
The agreement produced at the conference advocates limiting temperature rise below 1 degree, far more ambitious then the up to 4 degree rise based on the voluntary targets of the Copenhagen Accord.

The Council of Canadians wants C-311 to mark a change in Canadian climate policy. “We want C-311 to lead to regulations that actually reduce our emissions,” adds Harden-Donahue.  “Planning for a tar sands free future, getting off of coal, vastly improving energy conservation and efficiency alongside plans for sustainable energy development, these are the types of actions that are needed.”

It looks Valentine’s Day came a little late today, but better late than never!

*This picture was originally posted by Cathy Orlando,  in Sudbury, Ontario, who works tirelessly to educate others about the dangers of global warming and the need to shift to a low carbon world while there is still a planet worth saving. Thanks Cathy!*

Thanks to all of you readers who took the time to contact Members of Parliament about this crucial bill.  The fight isn’t over, but let’s celebrate this victory!

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