Fast and Vigil for Courage in Copenhagen: December 7 to 18 2009

Factsheet: Copenhagen, Canada and the Climate Crisis Why Are The Climate Talks In Copenhagen So Important?

These talks are meant to produce a treaty to replace the Kyoto Protocol, the first international agreement to fight global warming, which expires in 2012. Not every country signed on to the Kyoto Protocol, so the Copenhagen talks are our opportunity to bring all nations together in support of common action. There is broad agreement that the treaty negotiated in Copenhagen must provide financial support to developing nations to reduce their emissions, it must commit industrial nations to reducing their emissions 25 to 40 percent (below 1990 levels) by 2020, and it must be legally binding. All nations must agree on a fair, ambitious and binding emission reduction treaty if we are to create a level playing field and coordinate action to stop global warming. Developed nations like Canada must show leadership, negotiate in good faith, and make serious commitments to substantial emission reductions in Copenhagen. We must give our government the courage to act, so that it can give other countries hope of a solution. For more information on the importance of these talks see The New Climate Deal. A Pocket Guide.

What Is Canada Doing To Help Stop Global Warming? Canada signed the Kyoto Protocol and committed to reducing emissions 6 percent below 1990 levels by 2012, but we have done nothing to reach that goal. Our emissions have risen 27 percent

Our government plans to go to Copenhagen with a commitment to reduce emissions just 3 percent below 1990 levels — less than we committed to in Kyoto in 1997. Our government has no effective plan for meeting even that minimal target. Many Canadians are rightly frustrated and ashamed by our inaction.

In international climate talks, Canada is increasingly seen as an obstacle to agreement. This position does not reflect the desire of most Canadians for strong action on global warming. Our government is tarnishing our long established reputation as a caring, progressive country, as these examples show:

“In the last couple of years, I’m afraid, Canada has not been seen as sitting at the table. Canada should be doing much more.”

–Rajendra Pachauri, head of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change

Fortunately, there is pressure on our government do better. Over a hundred faith, labour, social justice and environmental groups in Canada have signed on to the KyotoPLUS campaign,



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