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Council of Canadians issues open letter to Eastern Canadian premiers on climate, energy and trade

The Council of Canadians has issued an open letter to Eastern Canadian premiers on climate, energy and trade in the lead up to the Eastern Canadian premiers and New England Governors annual conference currently taking place.

The open letter calls on Eastern Canadian premiers to work with New England Governors to establish a regional science based emission reduction target of at least 25 per cent below 1990 levels by 2020, cautions against further large energy projects and corridors directed at export-oriented trade and calls for support of local procurement policies which help foster sustainable, local job development.

Check out Charlottetown’s The Guardian, “PEI should focus on Canadian energy needs, says Council of Canadians:

For Immediate Release
September 11, 2009

Eastern premiers must take action on climate change, says Council of Canadians

Eastern Canadian premiers have received an open letter on climate change, energy trade and the regional economy from the Council of Canadians.

These issues will be the focus of the annual meeting between the premiers and New England governors starting this Sunday in Saint John.

The open letter urges the provincial leaders to work with the governors to establish a regional commitment to reduce carbon emissions by at least 25 per cent below 1990 levels by 2020. This achievable target is in line with what scientists say is the minimum requirement to avoid the worst impacts of climate change.

“We want to see premiers discuss real solutions, not more ‘business as usual’ policies that have contributed to the urgent economic and climate crisis we now face,” says Andrea Harden-Donahue, energy campaigner with the Council of Canadians.

The letter also cautions premiers against adopting a regional energy vision that includes large energy project ‘corridors’ directed at export-oriented trade. These projects create negative local impacts and undermine energy security in Eastern Canada. They distract from real solutions such as significant efforts to achieve greater conservation and efficient use energy and locally based democratically accountable renewable energy projects.

Premiers were also urged to support local procurement policies. “The ‘Buy American’ controversy is an opportunity for Atlantic premiers and New England governors to talk about the urgent need to use government procurement to help local and regional economies,” said Stuart Trew, trade campaigner with the Council of Canadians. “Provinces and cities should be encouraged to create jobs locally so that communities on both sides of the border can thrive and grow,” adds Trew.

The Council of Canadians will also be holding its annual general meeting in Saint John in several weeks time.

“The issues that the premiers must discuss will be the focus of our annual general meeting. We will further explore an alternative vision for our economy, one that puts people, the environment and democracy first,” says Angela Giles, Atlantic regional organizer.