Today as over 200 nations of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change – COP-17 (UNFCCC - the folks who negotiated the Kyoto protocol), open their meeting in Durban South Africa, we hear in the news that the Harper government intends to pull out of the international environmental treaty next month.
Shocked? We are not. This government has been negotiating in bad faith and undermining what others are trying to do since the beginning. There is hardly any country in the world that doesn't acknowledge that climate change is a reality and at the present pace of destruction our world is in a lot of trouble. Most countries are going to Durban to try to find a cooperative way to tackle this problem, despite the fact that the targets proposed back in 1997 are not going to be met. But not our government. Instead, we are considering pulling out! Instead, we blame others, despite our having shown neither action nor political will on meeting our own targets! So why bother going, we ask?
CEP will have two representatives in Durban as part of the International Trade Union delegation; Brothers Jim Britton, Western Region Vice-President and Roland Lefort, President of Local 707, Fort McMurray. We are going because we need to have witnesses to what our government does. We are going because our union represents a large part of this country's oil and gas workers. We are going because we want to raise our voices so the world knows there is another side. We are going because we believe we have an opportunity for a new model of development - one that takes jobs, sustainability and first nations into account, because these things are not mutually exclusive. In our country that means starting with a National Energy Strategy.
Over the next two weeks we will be posting to this blog regularly to update you on the COP-17. We will also be posting interesting links from our allies on issues related to energy and climate change.
We believe there is no need to choose between the economy and the environment. With leadership and courage we can have both, our members expect it and we will fight for it.