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A new index produced by the social policy organization Germanwatch and the Climate Action Network-Europe has dropped Canada even further down an international climate change performance ranking. The 2008 index ranked Canada 53rd out of 56 countries. The 2009 index now has Canada ranked 59th out of 60 countries, with only Saudi Arabia doing a poorer job on climate change than Canada. The rankings are based on country’s current greenhouse gas emission levels, emissions trends, and an evaluation of their climate change policy.

CUPE National Environment Committee Co-chair Rh’ena Oake called Canada’s ranking “A shameful indication that Canada, particularly under Stephen Harper’s Conservatives, has ignored the public’s call for urgent action on climate change. What’s more, our country has become an embarrassment internationally. Canada is a prosperous country. With the right kind of federal leadership, our country could be at the top of this list, instead of close to dead last.”

CUPE has called on the Harper government numerous times to take real action on climate change. But the federal government in recent budgets and policy announcements has shown a profound lack of political courage to address the climate crisis. At the same time, CUPE members have been exercising their rights and power to make our workplaces and communities greener and more sustainable.

To express your dissatisfaction with Canada’s dreadful climate change performance, please write the new federal Environment Minister Jim Prentice (Prentice.J@parl.gc.ca) and copy the Prime Minister pm@pm.gc.ca.

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