An NDP bill that would set federal targets on greenhouse gas emissions has finally been approved by the House of Commons. The vote on theClimate Change Accountability Act was 149 to 136. The NDP, the Bloc and the Liberals voted in favour of the measure, first introduced in 2006, while the Conservatives opposed it.
Bill C-311 now goes to the Senate for final approval and Royal Assent. The Climate Change Accountability Act would require the federal government to set targets reducing greenhouse gas emissions to 25 percent below 1990 levels by the year 2020 and to 80 percent below by 2050. It would also require the federal Minister of the Environment to set an interim emissions reduction target for 2015 within six months after the bill becomes law.
Environmental groups lobbied vigorously for the bill. In a message on its web site, the David Suzuki Foundation calls on the Senate to pass the measure "before the next election." The bill was approved by the Commons in 2008, but failed to win Senate approval before Parliament was dissolved for that year's federal election. NDP MP Bruce Hyer reintroduced it in February 2009 and it has been wending its way through the Commons ever since.