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UPDATE: Council of Canadians prepares to depart for Copenhagen

A team from the Council of Canadians is now preparing to depart for the climate summit in Copenhagen.

Our first big event there will be participating in the global day of action march on Saturday at 1:00 pm local time (7:00 am EST) from Christianborg Slotsplads (Parliament Square) to the Bella Centre (where the official negotiations are taking place). Along with the Council of Canadians banner, we will be carrying the ‘climate justice is water justice’ banner that so many people signed at the recent Blue Summit in Ottawa.

A key issue at the climate summit will be the Harper government’s emissions reduction commitment, and how the ongoing expansion of the tar sands determines this commitment.

The Canwest News Service reports this morning that the tar sands now make up about 5 percent of Canada’s total emissions, and that Environment Canada predicts tar sands emissions will be the largest contributor to Canada’s emissions growth in the near future, and could triple by 2020.

It has also been reported that Alberta’s emissions are expected to increase by 58 percent above 1990 levels by 2020.

At COP 3 in Kyoto, the Chretien government promised to cut Canada’s emissions by 6 percent from 1990 levels by 2012, but instead our emissions have increased by 26 percent between 1990 and 2007.

For COP 15 in Copenhagen, Harper is promising a 20 percent reduction from the now much higher 2006 levels by 2020. In reality, this is a mere 3 percent reduction in emissions by 2020 from 1990 levels.

The Council of Canadians is calling for a fair climate agreement in Copenhagen. This means emission reductions by the global North – including Canada – of at least 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2020, and 90 percent below 1990 levels by 2050.

Look to for regular updates on the negotiations and events in Copenhagen.