By Sarah McGinnis, Calgary Herald
Ottawa needs to push for stricter international climate change targets, say a cross-section of Canadians attending a two-day citizens forum on global warming in Calgary.
The 103 delegates attending the first World Wide Views on Global Warming conference were randomly selected from each of Canada's provinces and territories. The sessions were organized as a prelude to international climate change meetings in Copenhagen this December.
"This is the first ever global consultation of ordinary citizens on climate change," said Edna Einsiedel, project co-ordinator and University of Calgary professor of communications and culture.
"All the voices so far in Copenhagen or preceding Kyoto Protocol discussions have been organized groups. There has never been an instance where citizens voices can be heard at these discussions."
Participants debated how rapidly developing countries should be treated under new international climate change policies and the role Canada should play in setting global warming policies before delegates created their own recommendations.
"If we are to reduce emissions, we should be within the range of reducing emissions by 25 to 40 per cent in the short term. We need to use that range in order to keep temperatures at around two degrees Celsius over the short term," Einsiedel said of the group consensus. …