rabble blogs are the personal pages of some of Canada's most insightful progressive activists and commentators. All opinions belong to the writer; however, writers are expected to adhere to our guidelines. We welcome new bloggers -- contact us for details.

Canadians 'disappointed and alarmed' by federal government's lack of commitment on climate change

Please chip in to support more articles like this. Support rabble.ca for as little as $5 per month!

Over 30 groups and organizations, representing thousands of Canadians, issued a joint statement to the Canadian government on Wednesday decrying the government's lack of commitment to domestic action on climate change and the international climate negotiations process.

In their letter, the signatories claim that "the government's recent failure to submit Canada's targets for emissions cuts to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) by the March 31 deadline is indicative of this lack of commitment."

The groups claimed that the UNFCCC invited developed countries to submit their Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC).

"These submissions are voluntary, but highly important," said the groups. "They demonstrate a country's commitment to engage meaningfully in the next and most critical international climate change treaty."

According to UFNCC documents, the United States, member states of the European Union, Russia and Mexico have all submitted INDCs in accordance with the March 31 deadline. 

"As one of only a few developed countries that have yet to submit, Canada is out of step with its closest allies and trade partners. We are not pulling our weight as a member of the international community and not doing our fair share to reduce emissions." 

Under the Copenhagen Accord, Canada is committed to a 17 per cent emissions reduction below 2005 levels by 2020. Yet under current policies, based on Environment Canada's 2012 Progress Report, Canada is expected to reach a mere 1.5 per cent reduction by 2020.

"This lack of progress makes Canada a climate pariah when so many other nations are stepping up their plans for emissions cuts to address dangerous climate change. Both Canadians and the international community expect to see firm commitments from our country to keep us below the 2°C threshold."

For that reason, they demanded that the government develop a national action plan to stabilize the rise in global average temperatures to below 2°C.

That plan, they said, should include an end to subsidies that promote the growth of the fossil fuel industry, a price on carbon to cap carbon-intensive forms of production and an investment in a national renewable energy plan to secure a low-carbon future.

"Canada is at a crossroads. We are calling upon our government to stand on the right side of history. The path we choose will define us as a nation and determine the future of our children and grandchildren. Taking action on climate at the international level is intrinsically linked to the well-being of all Canadians. 

"Now is our opportunity to rebuild our reputation as an international leader and prove to Canadians and the world that Canada is still a nation that respects and acts for the greater global good."

Click here to go to ClimateFast to sign up for their newsletter and pledge to write their MP.


Click here to learn more about the Step Up, Canada! campaign, calling on the federal government to adopt the necessary measures to address climate change.

Thank you for reading this story…

More people are reading rabble.ca than ever and unlike many news organizations, we have never put up a paywall – at rabble we’ve always believed in making our reporting and analysis free to all, while striving to make it sustainable as well. Media isn’t free to produce. rabble’s total budget is likely less than what big corporate media spend on photocopying (we kid you not!) and we do not have any major foundation, sponsor or angel investor. Our main supporters are people and organizations -- like you. This is why we need your help. You are what keep us sustainable.

rabble.ca has staked its existence on you. We live or die on community support -- your support! We get hundreds of thousands of visitors and we believe in them. We believe in you. We believe people will put in what they can for the greater good. We call that sustainable.

So what is the easy answer for us? Depend on a community of visitors who care passionately about media that amplifies the voices of people struggling for change and justice. It really is that simple. When the people who visit rabble care enough to contribute a bit then it works for everyone.

And so we’re asking you if you could make a donation, right now, to help us carry forward on our mission. Make a donation today.


We welcome your comments! rabble.ca embraces a pro-human rights, pro-feminist, anti-racist, queer-positive, anti-imperialist and pro-labour stance, and encourages discussions which develop progressive thought. Our full comment policy can be found here. Learn more about Disqus on rabble.ca and your privacy here. Please keep in mind:


  • Tell the truth and avoid rumours.
  • Add context and background.
  • Report typos and logical fallacies.
  • Be respectful.
  • Respect copyright - link to articles.
  • Stay focused. Bring in-depth commentary to our discussion forum, babble.


  • Use oppressive/offensive language.
  • Libel or defame.
  • Bully or troll.
  • Post spam.
  • Engage trolls. Flag suspect activity instead.