Greens applaud Obama administration’s climate action

The Green Party of Canada welcomes new US Environmental Protection Agency regulations unveiled today, and calls on the Canadian government to follow suit.

President Obama announced this morning that the EPA will implement new reduction requirements for carbon emissions from the US’s 1,600 fossil fuel power plants. Electricity generation accounts for approximately 40% of total US greenhouse gas emissions.

“I commend President Obama for finally stepping up to the plate and committing to meaningful action to confront the climate crisis,” said Elizabeth May, Leader of the Green Party of Canada and MP for Saanich­–Gulf Islands.

“These regulatory changes should remove the last fig leaf on Stephen Harper’s ‘do nothing’ approach to climate change. For years he’s been claiming that we needed a harmonized system with the US, so Canada had to wait for Obama. Now that Obama has acted, we welcome Canadian regulations on our oil and gas sector as well.”

At the UN climate negotiations in Copenhagen in 2009, both the US and Canada committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 17% below 2005 levels by 2020. However, unlike the US, Canada lacks any comprehensive plan for achieving these reductions.

“Current projections indicate that Canada will emit 734 million tonnes of carbon in 2020, overshooting our Copenhagen target by more than 120 million tonnes,” said climate scientist and Green Party Arctic and Northern Affairs Critic John Streicker.

“While coal is a huge source of CO2, we need to reduce other fossil fuel usage too,” said Bruce Hyer, Green Deputy Leader and MP for Thunder Bay–Superior North. “We must price all CO2 sources, with a particular focus on Carbon Fee and Dividend, as proposed by the Citizens Climate Lobby.”