Greens urge federal government to show leadership internationally

OTTAWA –  Green Party MPs are urging the federal government to uphold its obligations to the international community, and work to advance human rights, climate action and stability between nations during the COVID-19 pandemic.

"The climate emergency cannot be postponed,” said Green parliamentary leader Elizabeth May (MP, Saanich-Gulf Islands). “Despite dramatic declines in pollution levels globally, the atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases continue to rise. We are disturbed by comments from Environment and Climate Change Minister Jonathan Wilkinson that key climate commitments and other long-overdue regulations will be delayed. The climate crisis poses a threat to human civilization that is far more severe than COVID-19. It is a slower moving, but much larger looming catastrophe.”

The Paris agreement requires that Canada dramatically improve its target, known as a Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC), within calendar year 2020. The decision to postpone the planned climate negotiations in Glasgow (COP26) until next year does not affect the requirement to deliver a new target to the UNFCCC secretariat in 2020. 

Green MP Paul Manly (Nanaimo-Ladysmith) said that during the global pandemic it is more important than ever that Canada show leadership on human rights. “We are very disappointed that the government lifted the moratorium on arms exports to Saudi Arabia in April,” said Manly. “Saudi Arabia has been accused of war crimes in the conflict in Yemen. There is evidence of Canadian-made light armoured vehicles being used there. Saudi Arabia also has an atrocious record of human rights abuses against women and religious minorities within its own borders.”

The Green Party is also calling on the federal government to oppose Israel’s plan to illegally annex settlements in the West Bank. Green MPs have written to the prime minister urging the government to take a strong stance against any annexation of Palestinan lands, which would be a clear violation of International Law, the Geneva Convention and UN Security Council resolution 242 (UNSC 242).

“Canada must not stand idly by and allow Israel to violate international law with impunity,”  said Green Party Interim Leader Jo-Ann Roberts. “Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has repeatedly affirmed his support for a two-state solution. The Green Party urges the federal government to raise this matter with Canada’s international partners, and pressure Israel to back down from this dangerous plan.”

“As the world works through the challenges of the global COVID-19 pandemic it is critical not to lose sight of the other collective challenges humanity faces: climate change, human rights and global peace and security. We will continue to keep a focus on these issues as well,” stated Manly.

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Rosie Emery

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