Canadian Parliament Supports Strong Copenhagen Target

“Lead, follow, or get out of the way!”, was what Power Shift Canada told the Canadian Government loud and clear on October 24th. Since then, youth across the country have been rallying, calling and dancing to demand that the Canadian government adopt Bill C-311 (the Climate Change Accountability act) which would mandate targets to cut global warming pollution in line with science. “It’s time to listen,” we told them, and all these efforts have finally started to pay off. The minority Harper government used stalling tactics to delay a vote on that bill in committee most likely until 2010, but the Canadian parliament just passed a motion that Canada should put forward the first target from the delayed bill as the Canadian position in Copenhagen. It passed 137-124 with the united support of all three opposition parties:

That, in the opinion of the House, Canada should commit to propose at the Copenhagen conference on climate change

  1. reducing, through absolute reduction targets, greenhouse gas emissions in industrialized countries to 25% lower than 1990 levels, by 2020;
  2. the necessity of limiting the rise in global temperatures to less than 2oC higher than in the preindustrial era; and
  3. supporting the developing countries in their efforts to reduce greenhouse gases and adapt to climate change.

The motion isn’t legally binding, unfortunately, like bill C-311 would be, but it does send an important and powerful message to the world: the current Canadian government’s position on climate change does not represent the will of the majority of Canadians, and the opposition parties are willing to unite against the government over this issue. This gives a huge boost to those countries who are willing to push forward towards an ambitious, binding treaty in Copenhagen, and they should take note: the Harper government is now totally wrongfooted on their climate policy, and barely hanging on to power by a thread. Lead, and Canada will follow.

Originally published at

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