Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Climate Change Accountability Act facing down final hurdle

Bill C311. The number is burned into my brain now. For over one year, I’ve watched its unlikely journey as an NDP private members bill to its passage in second reading in the House of Commons in early May. Environmentalists and interested Canadians cheered its passage through the lower House as a triumph in the fight against dangerous climate change. However, the Bill now faces its final and perhaps biggest hurdle in getting through the Senate process as it faces 2nd reading in the upper house today.

The Bill is the only piece of Canadian legislation that addresses dangerous climate change and purports to hold the government accountable through strict reporting mechanisms and aggressive reduction targets.

The highlights of Bill C-311’s outcomes include:
* Cuts greenhouse gas emissions – 25% below 1990 levels by 2020 and 80% by 2050
* Mandates the government to set regulations that ensure targets are met
* Punishes polluters who break regulations
* Ensures government accountability with publicized 5 year target plans
* Establishes independent reviews to ensure government measures reach targets

The Bill has just two weeks to make it through Senate or die on the order papers. You can follow its progress at http://tiny.cc/5sqmf or communicate with Senators at http://tiny.cc/umz0c.

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