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Harper and Abbott form dangerous bloc on climate destruction

The Guardian reports, “The Australian and Canadian prime ministers have suggested that economic growth is more important than tackling climate change, playing down the prospects of strong co-ordinated global action [including at the upcoming United Nations climate summits]. Tony Abbott and Stephen Harper indicated during a joint media conference in Ottawa [on Monday] that they felt no additional pressure to address climate change as a result of the US president Barack Obama’s new package to reduce emissions.”

“Abbott said climate change was ‘not the only or even the most important problem’ the world faced… Harper said he did not feel any additional pressure ‘other than the pressure we all feel to make progress on this important issue’. ‘It’s not that we don’t seek to deal with climate change, but we seek to deal with it in a way that will protect and enhance our ability to create jobs and growth, not destroy jobs and growth in our countries’, Harper said. …’We are just a little more frank about that, but that is the approach that every country’s taking.'”

The article notes, “The Australian Greens accused Abbott and Harper of creating a ‘conservative climate deniers club’…”

The next United Nations climate summits will take place this December in Peru and next December in France (just shortly after the October 19, 2015 federal election in Canada). The New York Times editorial board has commented, “If the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s most recent report is to be taken seriously, as it should be, the Paris meeting may well be the world’s last, best chance to get a grip on a problem that, absent urgent action over the next decade, could spin out of control.”

The Globe and Mail has reported, “Without [new] climate regulations, the [Harper] government forecasts that emissions from the oil and gas sector will soar by 23 per cent between 2005 and 2020, and by 48 per cent by 2030, swamping progress in other sectors.”

To push world ‘leaders’ like Harper and Abbott, the Council of Canadians has endorsed the People’s Climate March that will be taking place on September 20-21 in New York City. We are helping to organize buses to leave from Ottawa and Toronto for this massive protest.

Bill McKibben presents this context, “Since Ban Ki-moon runs the United Nations, he’s altogether aware that we’re making no progress as a planet on slowing climate change. He presided over the collapse of global-climate talks at Copenhagen in 2009, and he knows the prospects are not much better for the ‘next Copenhagen’ in Paris in December 2015. In order to spur those talks along, he’s invited the world’s leaders to New York in late September for a climate summit. …At the moment, the overwhelming sense around the world is nothing will happen in time. That’s on the verge of becoming a self-fulfilling prophecy… A loud movement – one that gives our ‘leaders’ permission to actually lead, and then scares them into doing so – is the only hope of upending that prophecy.”

We encourage Council of Canadians supporters who can make it to New York City for this protest to be there. More on this at Council endorse the People’s Climate March, Sept. 20-21.