The CBC reports that it has obtained documents prepared for the Harper government in advance of the Copenhagen summit on a new draft position on emissions targets.
It reveals that the Harper government is contemplating an approach to regulating emissions from the oil and gas, mining and manufacturing sectors that is three times weaker than their promise to reduce emissions 20 percent by 2020.
The Harper government is already playing a numbers game by saying it will cut overall emissions by 20 percent below 2006 levels by 2020.
Using the standard 1990 baseline, Harper is really only promising a mere 3 percent reduction. Recent science demands at least a 40 percent cut from 1990 levels by 2020 by global North countries including Canada.
This draft document raises additional questions about the already doubtful seriousness of the Harper government to meet even their meager target.
Here again is an example of the tar sands driving Canada's climate change policy.
The Council of Canadians is outraged that the Harper government cannot even commit to its already embarassingly low target that is receiving international criticism.
The government must take action to transition away from the tar sands towards sustainable and renewable energy sources, not continue to give permission for increased development and emissions from this environmentally-destructive mega-project.
Council of Canadians chairperson Maude Barlow says, "The leaked documents further demonstrate how the Harper government is letting the people of Canada down. Canadians want real action to protect the climate. They do not want the tar sands driving our climate policy. They do not want Canada to be an international embarassment. It's not too late for the Harper government to do the right thing in Copenhagen by committing to deep emission reductions. The time is now. The people of Canada must speak out and demand better."
Call your Member of Parliament and tell them that the Harper government position on climate change and the tar sands is unacceptable.
Tell them that this is an issue that will determine how you vote in the next federal election.
Demand that they publicly express their disapproval of the Harper government's position on climate change and that they speak in favour of at least a 40 percent emissions reduction below 1990 levels by 2020.
Demand that they raise their voice for climate justice during the critical period of the Copenhagen talks.
To find the contact information for your Member of Parliament, go to our website at http://www.canadians.org/action/index.html.
Andrea Harden-Donahue is the energy campaigner and Brent Patterson is the director of campaigns and communications at the Council of Canadians.