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On Saturday, October 24, CUPE members were part of the greatest day of environmental action in the planet’s history. Over 150 rallies were held in Canada, which had the largest number of events in the world, second to the United States.

At over 5200 events around the world, people in 181 countries gathered to call for strong action on the climate crisis. Such action needs to include a bold agreement at the Climate Conference in Copenhagen on December 6-18 to replace the Kyoto Protocol, which expires in 2012.

All the rallies were centered on the number 350, to draw attention to 350 parts per million (ppm), which an overwhelming number of scientists now insist is the safe upper limit for carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. The world is currently over that limit, at about 380 parts per million.

In Ottawa, many participants were young people from across the country involved in Power Shift, a four-day meeting of training, strategy and action to build an effective youth climate movement.

Across the Maritimes, churches sent a message to the Federal government by ringing their bells 35 times at 3:50pm.

Last Wednesday, Federal Liberal and Conservative MPs delayed legislative action by providing 30 more days to study Bill C-311, the Climate Change Accountability Act.

The clear effect is to prevent a vote on Bill C-311 until after Copenhagen,” said the New Democrat Environment Critic and Environment Committee member Linda Duncan (Edmonton-Strathcona).

The Bill commits Canada to the science-based greenhouse gas reduction targets and holds the government publically accountable for concrete action.