For Immediate Release
Ottawa (December 19, 2007) The Green Budget Coalition, comprising 19 of Canada’s leading environmental and conservation organizations, today released Big Steps Forward: Recommendations for Budget 2008, which details the Coalition’s priority recommendations for the 2008 federal budget.
These recommendations would fulfill the desire expressed by the Prime Minister and the Canadian public for effective federal leadership on the environment, and build upon the federal government’s efforts in making progress on all five of the Coalition’s priority recommendations for the 2007 budget.
The Green Budget Coalition’s three priority recommendations for the 2008 budget are:
Carbon Pricing: Reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by setting a price for these harmful emissions of at least $30/tonne carbon dioxide equivalent by 2009, and at least $75/tonne by 2020, using a carbon tax or a cap-and-trade system with auctioned permits. The revenues raised could finance further reductions in GHG emissions, and also offset related cost increases for low-income Canadians.
Action on Nature: Conserve both marine and terrestrial biodiversity by implementing commitments to establish networks of federal protected areas on land and in our oceans and to ensure their long-term ecological integrity. Investing $1 billion over 5 years would create 11 new national parks, 35 new marine protected areas, reinvigorate our network of National Wildlife Areas and Migratory Bird Sanctuaries, and convert 2 million acres of cropland to permanent cover and riparian protection improving water quality.
Renewing the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River Region: Develop and invest in a comprehensive, long-term sustainability strategy to restore, protect and enhance the environment of this region where 25% of Canadians live. Priority investments should be for upgrading water and wastewater infrastructure, and cleaning up Areas or Concern and Zones d’intervention prioritaire.
The Coalition is also recommending:
The Green Budget Coalition brings together the collective knowledge of 19 of Canada’s leading environmental and conservation groups, to submit priority recommendations for each annual federal budget, and to advance the integration of environmental values into the economy.
The Green Budget Coalition’s members are Bird Studies Canada, Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society, Centre for Integral Economics, David Suzuki Foundation, Ducks Unlimited Canada, Ecojustice, Environmental Defence, Équiterre, Friends of the Earth Canada, Greenpeace Canada, International Institute for Sustainable Development, MiningWatch Canada, Nature Canada, Nature Conservancy of Canada, Pembina Institute, Pollution Probe, Sierra Club of Canada, Social Investment Organization, and World Wildlife Fund Canada.
Nature Canada is a member-based non-profit nature conservation organization dedicated to protecting nature, its diversity, and the processes that sustain it. With strategies based on sound science and passion for nature, Nature Canada effects change on issues of national significance, including bird conservation, wilderness protection, species at risk and national parks.
Andrew Van Iterson, Program Manager, Green Budget Coalition, 613-562-3447 ext. 243, firstname.lastname@example.org
Julie Gelfand, Chair, Green Budget Coalition; President, Nature Canada; 613-858-5029, email@example.com
For specific recommendations:
1) Carbon Pricing - Pierre Sadik, David Suzuki Foundation, 613-594-5845, firstname.lastname@example.org
2) Action on Nature - Alison Woodley, Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society, 613-569-7226 ext. 227, email@example.com
3) Great Lakes - St. Lawrence Region - Rick Findlay, Pollution Probe, 613-237-8666, firstname.lastname@example.org