Green Party commits to getting results in Paris

(OTTAWA) November 26, 2015 – The Green Party of Canada is committed to a successful conclusion of the climate negotiations that have taken place continuously over the last decade within the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. The Green Party of Canada will work within the Government of Canada delegation in Paris. Both Green leader Elizabeth May, MP (Saanich – Gulf Islands), and Green Climate Change critic, nationally respected meteorologist Claire Martin, will be working through the entire 21st Conference of the Parties (COP21). They will be joined on the delegation in the second week by New Brunswick MLA and Green Party provincial leader David Coon.

Many other Canadian Greens are traveling to Paris to support the strongest possible treaty, including recent candidates Peter Ormond (Hamilton West—Ancaster—Dundas), Jici Lauzon (Pierre-Boucher—Les Patriotes—Verchères), and Dimitri Lascaris (London West). Green Parties from around the world will be represented by elected MPs from Europe, New Zealand, Australia, Asia, and Latin America.

May expressed appreciation to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau for returning to the long-standing practice of including parliamentarians from opposition parties in Canadian government delegations. As well, the prime minister has extended invitations to the premiers of every province and territory, and to indigenous peoples, youth, environmental activists, business leaders, and other representatives of civil society. “This is a healthy return to cooperation across party lines and across jurisdictions. While some have mocked Environment and Climate Change Minister Catherine McKenna’s statement that ‘Canada is back,’ it is quite true. Since 2006, the Canadian delegation did not reflect Canada. The Canadian delegation was restricted to the Conservative Party. Now the Conservative Party, like the Green Party, fills a role in working together as a country. Canada is back.”

Despite this new narrative of cooperation and willingness to act on climate change, the Green Party has expressed concern that the current Canadian targets and plan of action remain unchanged from those tabled with the United Nations last spring.

“Clearly, for the rest of the world to notice that Canada’s position has changed, we cannot be negotiating under the same package of measures as those left behind by the previous government. With a favourable political climate and recent action from Alberta, there will never be a more important and opportune moment for Canada to step up and help move the world to a stronger treaty. To do that, we must put a new package on the table,” stated Claire Martin.

Both Elizabeth May and Claire Martin will be in attendance from November 30, until at least December 11, when the conference is scheduled to conclude, although most seasoned observers believe it is unlikely to end until Sunday, December 13.

The aim of the conference is to reach a universal, legally binding agreement that will restrict the average global temperature increase to around 1.5°C. According to the COP21 website, the plan will need to change the path of economic development so that carbon neutrality is a reality by the end of the century.