Friday, November 17, 2006

Canadian Youth Demand more action at Climate Change Negotiation

 As part of our long-term strategy to bulid civilian and political leadership at home, the Canadian Youth Delegation issued its “Declaration of Demands at COP 12″ today, in Nairobi Kenya. Recognizing that we are in this for the long haul, Canadian youth picked 3 things that would help move negotiations forward in a positive manner and also asked for a plan that will resonante with the public at home. This is the beginning - we know what we want, and now we will act on it - with your help.

Here is a copy of the text:

Youth Declaration of Demands at COP 12

The global community has acknowledged that the world is facing an unprecedented climate crisis. It is a fact that our generation will face the greatest consequences from climate change. By default, this crisis has become our issue because this is our future. Climate change extends beyond environmental issues – it cuts across all spheres of society thus we must be united in facing the challenge that it presents. This is our future that is at stake.

The Youth are ready to face this challenge, but we cannot do it alone. We are calling for greater action and leadership from our government on climate change. There is no time to waste.

On behalf of the youth of Canada, the Canadian Youth Delegation makes the following immediate demands of the Canadian Government:

1. A public re-commitment to the Kyoto Protocol, specifically meeting our targets from the original 2008 timeline.

The time for leadership is now. The technology and expertise are readily available to reduce emissions and meet our commitments. Government efficiency regulations are necessary in all sectors, in conjunction with mandatory caps that capitalize on market instruments.

The recent actions and statements by the Government of Canada have created confusion and uncertainty over Canada’s position on the Kyoto Protocol. Canada’s recent statements about our inability to meet our current target, and the introduction of the Clean Air Act (Bill C-30) are unacceptable responses to the climate crisis. The government has said that we are unable to meet our targets and has presented a plan that does not sufficiently address the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. Solutions start with working towards our targets, not abandoning them.

Currently, Canada emissions are 35% above our Kyoto target. There is no more time to blame former governments for a lack of action.

The Stern review presents a strong economic case for tackling climate change immediately. Delaying action simply enhances impacts and impedes Canada’s long-term economic viability. This is Canada’s opportunity to lead the world into a sustainable energy economy. The solutions are available to us now.

Canadian youth demand a clear and unambiguous commitment, reaffirming Canada’s support of the protocol, and a comprehensive and effective plan for the Canadian public to rally behind.

2. Immediate commitment to negotiate the post-2012 framework.

Canada must agree to and push for a work plan on post-Kyoto targets for developing nations, to be completed no later than 2008. This is to assure that a mandate for the second commitment period can be adopted at COP/MOP 5. Delay beyond this deadline will postpone action by signatories to achieve future targets, thus creating the gap between commitment periods.

3. Adoption of the IPCC “2 degrees Celsius” target in the post-2012 phase.

Climate change is beyond partisanship. Solving this crisis will mean making difficult decisions. Clearly this an issue of political will.

Canada must demonstrate strong leadership in the fight against climate change. A firm goal must be agreed upon by all parties to remain below a 2oC global average rise in temperature above pre-industrial levels. Surpassing this point will bring with it significant and irreversible damage.

It is in the interest of the citizens of Canada to commit to short-term deep reduction targets. We live in a time of unprecedented technology options, and innovative policies. There is no excuse not to push for this stronger and more effective target. Canada must be innovative in its approach to climate change and reemerge as a leader.

The Kyoto Protocol is the only international agreement we have that addresses the threat of climate change – we cannot afford to weaken it now.

Our future is at stake.


The Canadian Youth Delegation to Nairobi



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