Bill C-311, the Climate Change Accountability Act, will be heading for a vote in parliament this Wednesday April 1. It's a private member's bill tabled by NDP MP Bruce Hyer - all three opposition parties actually passed a virtually identical version of this bill (C-377) in June 2008, but it did not get through the Senate before the fall 2008 election.
What's the bill about?
• Bill C-311 is an important test of serious action on climate change. It proposes the deep national emission reduction targets that leading scientists say are required to avoid dangerous climate change, and requires the Minister of the Environment to set a plan with interim targets to get there.
• Bill C-311 also extends the important accountability mechanisms introduced by other bills. By requiring regular reviews of the government’s target plans and policies, this legislation would make sure the government stays on track to meet its targets.
• Passing C-311 this year would send a powerful statement of Canadian climate leadership to the world, demonstrating that Canada is prepared to play a responsible part in the global climate fight. This leadership is critical to securing a strong global deal at the UN climate talks in Copenhagen this December.
The Climate Change Accountability is exactly the thing that is needed within Canada and something that I'm excited about and hoping will pass. It will go a long way to make up for several misdirections by the Canadian government, and even by some of our opposition parties on their stance on the environment.