Sunday, January 28, 2007

No more hot air, just clean air

Fresh from his success as host of a flim night at NWCC in Prince Rupert, Nathan Cullen is setting about to get to the hard work of putting together a new approach to the environment with the start of Parliament on Monday.

Cullen who recently has toured his riding presenting Al Gore's An Incovenient Truth, intends to take the findings of his constiuents with him to Ottawa, as joins in on an All party committee to tackle the hot issue of the day our environment and world responsibilities towards it.

The Daily News provided a look at his schedule ahead and the lofty goals and hard work ahead to see things through to fruition.

By Leanne Ritchie
The Daily News
Friday, January 26, 2007

When Skeena-Bulkley Valley MP Nathan Cullen sits down with an all-party committee to rewrite the Clean Air Act on Monday, he will take the thoughts of hundreds of locals with him.
The NDP’s environment critic recently wrapped up a week-long tour of the riding, during which forums were held to discuss climate change. The turnout was 100 people or more at each venue, leaving Cullen with a strong sense of residents’ feeling that the country needs to move faster on climate change.

Parliament resumes on Monday.

“The overarching goal is to get Canada back on track when it comes to our emissions of greenhouses gases,” said Cullen. “We are the worst performing nation on the whole right now and a lot of that has to do with a lack of effort.”

The Conservatives released Bill C-30, known as the Clean Air Act last October.

While Cullen had various minister’s tell him this bill would literally knock his socks off, when it was finally released, Cullen’s socks stayed firmly in place. In fact, none of the parties would support the Conservatives’ bill and it looked like it was dead.

The first major point in time when industry would really have to meet their targets was in the year 2030.

There were some things that were going to happen in the year 2013 but not many.

However, NDP leader Jack Layton asked the Prime Minister if the bill could be sent to an all-party committee for a re-write and much to most people’s surprise, he agreed.

For Cullen, moving up those emission reduction targets is key.

“For big polluters in the country, this will force some change on pollution and will help fund a lot of the environmental projects that we are interested in getting done — new energy projects,” he said.

Cullen said the party also wants to help consumers buy better and newer cars with lower emissions and start a national energy program to help people with the cost of heating homes.
Under the Kyoto agreement, Canada is committed to reducing its carbon emission levels to six per cent below 1990 levels.

“The most recent environment Canada reports that we have, the 2004, 2005 years, show Canada approximately 27 to 29 per cent above 1990 levels. The current government has claimed that by 2012 at current trends we will be at 50 per cent above that Kyoto commitments,” said Cullen.

If Canada is above, the country will face two penalties. One is that it will cost the country five to $10 billion in international carbon credits each and every year. The second penalty is that Canada must commit to 30 per cent more strict targets in the second phase of Kyoto after 2012.

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