Elizabeth May heading to UN climate negotiations in Durban

– Elizabeth May, Leader of the Green Party of Canada and Member of Parliament
for Saanich-Gulf Islands, will depart for Durban, South Africa, hoping to make
a difference in Canada’s position on the Kyoto protocol, or at least limit the
damage.  “Other countries are now taking
out full page ads decrying our position on Kyoto.  This is a terrible embarrassment for Canada
on the world stage and if we don’t turn things around, we will be judged
harshly in the future,” said May.

Speaker of the House denied May’s request that Parliament have an Emergency
Debate on Canada’s negotiating position at the Durban conference.  It has been leaked that despite participating
in the negotiations, the Harper government plans to withdraw from Kyoto a few
days before Christmas.

has been no opportunity for Parliament to discuss Canada’s negotiating
position. Opposition Members will not be included in the Canadian delegation to
COP17.  I am going as a member of the
Global Greens delegation and will pay my own way.  I am saddened that I am not an official
representative of my country, but I am determined to do my best,” said May.

have cautioned that reductions in greenhouse gas emissions must be taken to
avoid exceeding an average increase of 2 degrees C if the planet is to escape
the worst impacts of the changing climate. 
The Kyoto Protocol was meant to be the first step in that process, agreed
upon by 191 countries.  Most of the
industrialized world have met or exceeded their Kyoto targets. The EU has
exceeded its target. Japan has reduced emissions below 1990 levels but falls
short of its target.  Canada is the only
country within the Kyoto Protocol to have repudiated our legally binding
obligations.  Moreover, Kyoto is not
merely a set of targets to 2012. It is a very detailed set of agreements that
cover monitoring, reporting, credits, adaptation, and other mechanisms that
took years to negotiate.

is our best chance to reduce global emissions.  
There is no time for developing a new instrument with the detail and
rigour of the Kyoto framework. We could find ourselves running to catch up,
re-joining an agreement that disadvantages our economy because we were not in
the room when the agreement was negotiated,” said May.

Party President John Streicker will accompany May to Durban.  “It is so crucial to make the smart long term
choices now to shift our economy to a sustainable energy base. Living in the
North, I see firsthand that climate change is already having an impact but I
know that it is not too late and I believe that countries will pull together on
a global level to make the necessary emissions reductions. It is a question of
whether Canada will be part of the problem or part of the solution,” commented

and Streicker  will be attending the 17th
Conference of the Parties (COP17) to the United Nations Framework Convention on
Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the 7th Session of the Conference of the Parties
serving as the Meeting of the Parties (CMP7) to the Kyoto Protocol as observers
from Sunday December 4th until it concludes on Friday December 9th.



Rebecca Harrison