Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of November 27, 2006
CRC offers suggestions to beef up 'tepid' Clean Air Act
By DEBORAH GYAPONG
"Cutting greenhouse gas emissions is for us a spiritual as well as a moral and ethical issue."
- Sr. Donna Geernaert
Religious congregations working in the developing world have seen first hand the devastating effects of climate change on thousands of environmental refugees, she said.
The poorest people are the most vulnerable to these effects, she said. "Cutting greenhouse gas emissions is for us a spiritual as well as a moral and ethical issue," she wrote.
While Geernaert recognized meeting the Kyoto target of a six per cent reduction from 1990 levels would be demanding, she offered three suggestions that could produce an immediate lessening of greenhouse gases in Canada.
The first is the development of a comprehensive public transportation plan, both within and between cities. "We as a nation must reduce our dependency on oil and a good public transportation system is one way to make that more possible."
The second is to improve on existing programs offering rebates and subsidies for Canadians to participate in programs to achieve greater energy efficiency, from the refitting of old buildings to experiments in alternative sources of energy.
The third is to "continue to call on Canadians individually to make a difference," through switching to energy efficient light bulbs, driving less and other methods.
"Unfortunately, tepid bills like the Clean Air Act do not send the signal to us as ordinary citizens that the Conservative government sees the environment as a priority," Geernaert wrote. "In fact, cutting such programs as the 'One Ton Challenge' sent a countersign. "We are more than willing to do our part as Canadian citizens to reduce the negative impact of greenhouse gas emissions. We also want our Canadian government to enact policies which reflect the best of who we are as global citizens."
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