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!

The World People’s Conference On Climate Change, Bill McKibbon on “Eaarth”, & Meatless Mondays

Today is Monday, so click here to go to the Meatless Monday website for recipe ideas and inspiration. Meatless Monday is a campaign that aims to increase people’s health and decrease their carbon footprint at the same time.

Bill McKibbon, long-time environmental activist, author, and co-founder of, has come out with a new book, Eaarth. “Eaarth” is spelled differently because McKibbon wants to illustrate that we are already living on a different planet, thanks to human-induced climate change.

Twenty years ago, with The End Of Nature, Bill McKibben offered one of the earliest warnings about global warming. Those warnings went mostly unheeded; now, he insists, we need to acknowledge that we’ve waited too long, and that massive change is not only unavoidable but already under way. Our old familiar globe is suddenly melting, drying, acidifying, flooding, and burning in ways that no human has ever seen. We’ve created, in very short order, a new planet, still recognizable but fundamentally different. We may as well call it Eaarth.

That new planet is filled with new binds and traps. A changing world costs large sums to defend — think of the money that went to repair New Orleans, or the trillions of dollars it will take to transform our energy systems. But the endless economic growth that could underwrite such largesse depends on the stable planet we’ve managed to damage and degrade. We can’t rely on old habits any longer.

Our hope depends, McKibben argues, on scaling back — on building the kind of societies and economies that can hunker down, concentrate on essentials, and create the type of community (in the neighborhood, but also on the Internet) that will allow us to weather trouble on an unprecedented scale. Change — fundamental change — is our best hope on a planet suddenly and violently out of balance.

Click here to go the home page of the CBC radio show The Current, and scroll down to “Part 3: A Tough New Planet” to listen to a 45 minute interview with McKibbon.

And speaking of CBC, what wasn’t covered at all this past week by Canadian’s “Mother Corp” was the historic conference on Climate Change and the Rights of Mother Earth hosted by President Evo Morales in Cochabamba, Bolivia.  The conference was attended by 15,000 people from 150 countries. Delegations included scientists and representatives from NGOs, unions and governments.  Instead, the CBC offered Canadians coverage of such “bigger” news stories like the economic collapse in Greece, a full-face transplant in Spain, and the risks of travel to Thailand right now.  Good grief!  No wonder I rarely watch CBC news or use their website as a resource these days.  CBC has become irrelevant, too busy propping up the status quo to be a reliable news source anymore.

What did happen in Bolivia could be a game-changer in the way the world addresses climate change.  The Cochabamba conference closed with a call for industrialized countries to halve greenhouse gas emissions and set up a court to punish climate crimes.

World Peoples Conference on Climate Change and the Rights of Mother Earth culminated Thursday and released the final declaration, the Agreement of the Peoples, calling for the establishment of an International Climate Court to prosecute polluters, condemning REDD and holding polluters responsible for their climate debt.

With the release of the final declaration, Indigenous Peoples proclaimed the outcome as, “The Cochabamba Protocols.”

Describing the damage to Mother Earth and the catastrophic effects of global temperature increases, the Agreement of Peoples states that the so-called developed nations are seizing the bounties of Mother Earth for profit without regard to the consequences for the people or the earth. (

For more coverage of the Cochabamba conference, check out these relevant news sources:

The Guardian

The Huffington Post

Click here to go to the Conference’s Facebook Page for more links.