Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of September 9, 2002
Church group urged support for Kyoto
By ART BABYCH
Canadian Catholic News
Canadian Church and environmental organizations say the World Summit on Sustainable Development offered a chance to shift the global community from its currently unsustainable path.
But they lamented the fact the Kyoto accord on climate change was not on the agenda.
Elizabeth May, the executive director of the Sierra Club of Canada, refused to attend the 10-day WSSD in Johannesburg, South Africa, calling it a scandal bordering on fraud that Kyoto won't be discussed.
The ratification of the Kyoto protocol to reduce greenhouse gas emissions also tops the list of issues the Canadian Council of Churches and KAIROS: Canadian Ecumenical Justice Initiative, believe requires action.
"Concerted, cooperative effort is required and the World Summit on Sustainable Development provides a prime opportunity for mapping out how such efforts will be made," the groups say in a position paper.
The organizations also sent a letter to Prime Minister Jean Chretien stating the WSSD "provides a key moment to express concern regarding the unsustainable path on which the global community is proceeding."
It called on Chretien to ratify the Kyoto protocol, introduce measures to cut "unsustainable patterns of production and consumption," allow environmental agreements to trump international trade agreements and require mandatory compliance of transnational corporations with principles of corporate, social and environmental responsibility.
The Johannesburg Summit included tens of thousands of participants, among them heads of state and government, including Chretien.
"The 20th century taught us the limits and delicate balance of life on planet Earth," the PM said before leaving for Johannesburg. The summit "will bring us together to determine in concrete terms how we can improve our partnerships and our governance to make this world and its economy truly sustainable, for the sake of all future generations," he added.
Chretien announced Sept. 2 that Canada would sign the Kyoto protocol. "We are convinced that climate change will be one of the defining issues of our generation, that we have reached the hour of decision, and that it is the duty of Parliament to safeguard and enhance the present and future interests of our nation," said 96 Liberal MPs and senators in a letter endorsing the move.