Canadians deserve more than climate of fear from John Baird: Greenpeace

Press release - April 18, 2007
Greenpeace today said that Canadians deserve action on global warming, not a climate of fear from the environment minister. But today, John Baird continued to fear-monger about the Kyoto Protocol, using arguments that have been debunked time and again.

"The fact remains that after Mr. Baird's smear job today on Kyoto, the cost of acting on climate change is 20 times less than inaction," said Dave Martin, Greenpeace's climate and energy coordinator.  "It's irresponsible and dishonest to try to divide Canadians.  And the reality is that the longer Canada waits to meet Kyoto, the more dangerous and expensive it gets."

To try and build a case against the opposition's all-party plan that would honour the Kyoto Protocol, Baird today pointed to hyped job loss numbers, and fear-mongering around increased costs for vehicle and home fuel.

"Mr. Baird's stuck in old-time thinking," said Martin.  "We have the technology today to help families and businesses use less energy, and that means savings for people.  And around the world, businesses and countries are creating jobs through sustainability.  Only a lack of political will stops Canada doing the same."

Greenpeace said it feared this was the beginning of a prolonged propaganda war on behalf of the government.  "If this is a sign of what Stephen Harper has in store, it's more evidence of what we've been saying all along: This government is out to break Canada's word to the world and is laying the groundwork to step backwards," said Greenpeace climate campaigner Joslyn Higginson.

"Former World Bank economist Sir Nicholas Stern says global warming could cost the world economy 20 per cent of GDP a year-or the equivalent of $240 billion in Canada.  It is time for Canada to admit the real costs of global warming, and get down to work on honouring Kyoto in time," she said.

VVPR info: Joss Higginson, in Ottawa, cell 416.996.5679 (English and French)Dave Martin, in Toronto, cell 416.627.5004Jane Story, Greenpeace communications, cell 416.930.9055