(CP) A group of 18 CEOs from diverse Canadian companies or subsidiaries, including Alcan, BC Hydro, Shell Canada, E.I. Dupont Canada, Bombardier and Power Corp, have sent a joint letter to Canadian Prime Minister Paul Martin supporting the Kyoto protocol and urging that Canada’s climate-change plan extend beyond the 2008-2012 time frame of that instrument.
The company heads say a strong response is required to the strengthening evidence in the scientific assessments of the UN International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).
“As corporate leaders representing a broad cross-section of the Canadian economy, we believe that all governments, corporations, consumers and citizens have responsibilities under the Kyoto Protocol,” says the letter.“We accept the IPCC consensus that climate change raises the risk of severe consequences for human health and security and the environment. We note that Canada is particularly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change.”
“The world must act urgently to stabilize the accumulation of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere and minimize the global impacts of climate change.”
“We need a strategy now for the next 50 years, with short and medium-term targets to guide us. Governments must set clear markers along the way to unleash competitive market forces and allow the discovery of a long-term value for carbon emission reductions. Only then will we secure the deep reductions needed to prevent human interference with the climate system.”
The letter, obtained by Canadian Press, marks a sharp change from the criticism and skepticism that have characterized business comment on the Kyoto treaty from the time that former prime minister Jean Chretien first announced Canadian ratification in 1997.