Canada first in the world to pass climate act

June 5th, 2008 - 1:36 pm ICT by IANS  


Toronto, June 5 (IANS) The Canadian House of Commons has become the first parliament in the world to pass a climate act, which commits the country to reducing its greenhouse gas emissions by 80 percent from 1990 levels by 2050. The House passed the Climate Change Accountability Bill Wednesday. It was moved by the leader of the opposition New Democratic Party (NDP) Jack Layton.

The two other opposition parties - the Liberal party and the Bloc Quebecois - supported the bill.

“This is a world first,” Layton said in a statement later.

“Our legislation sets tough but achievable targets that will ensure Canada does its share to avoid the dangerous two-degree increase in average global temperature that scientists warn us about,” he said.

To ensure that Canada meets long-term pollution reduction targets, short and medium-term targets are also enshrined in the law, the opposition leader said.

The bill sets an interim target of 25 percent reduction in greenhouse gases by 2020 and requires progress reports from the government every five years.

However, the minority Conservative party government is adamant on its own environment plan, which aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 20 percent, below 2006 levels, by 2020.

But Layton said his bill enshrines “targets endorsed by world leaders”.

“Instead of looking back and dwelling on past targets, missed because of the inaction of previous governments,” he said his party was looking forward to a sustainable future for Canada’s economy.

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