Canada at crossroads: Government must seize opportunity to address environmental concerns
Ottawa — Concerned about the lack of political leadership on urgent issues such as climate change, Canada's leading environmental organizations have come to a groundbreaking consensus around a roadmap for action that is being released today.
Tomorrow Today: How Canada can make a world of difference, issued by the country's 11 largest environmental and conservation organizations offers practical directions for addressing the number one concern for Canadians — the state of the environment. The groups' recommendations centre on climate change, energy use, food production, toxic substances, water, forests and oceans.
"Canada is at a critical turning point. If we further destabilize our climate, release toxics into our air or water, destroy critical habitat for species and continue to over-exploit our oceans, we are going to pay a big price. That's why we need to take action today — not tomorrow — while we still have a chance to preserve clean water, wild habitat and to prevent the worst impacts of climate change," says Peter Robinson, executive director of the David Suzuki Foundation.
"Action today is going to be much more valuable than action tomorrow, especially on issues like protecting intact wilderness, including the Fort Knox of carbon storage — our intact boreal forest," points out Anne Levesque, Executive Director of the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society.
"We know Canadians will welcome this kind of action agenda because they see an urgent need to get our environmental house in order," says Devon Page, Executive Director of Ecojustice. "We hope it will be embraced by all federal parties as well."
The Tomorrow Today roadmap sets out five principles that should shape all federal laws and policies, including precaution, polluter pays, protecting future opportunities, accountability, and good global citizenship.
In fact, the Tomorrow Today roadmap proposes that a key first step on the path to sustainability is for the federal government to put a realistic price on emissions of greenhouse gases. This will not only help demonstrate seriousness about addressing Canada's above-average climate impact, it will help to reduce Canadian's overall environmental impact by rewarding efficiency and conservation.
The report calls for a charge of at least $30 tonne of CO2 (or equivalent) in 2009 escalating to $75 per tonne in 2020 as the most efficient way to send a signal across our society about the seriousness of the climate change threat we face and Canada's seriousness in seeking solutions.
The full report, Tomorrow Today: How Canada can make a world of difference can be found online here.
Edelman Public relations
Tel: (514) 941-2774