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ENVI Committee News Release

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For immediate release






Press Release for House Committee on Environment and Sustainable Development:
 Trip to Washington for Meetings with American Members of Congress and European
 Parliamentarians on Climate Change and Transboundary Pollution


OTTAWA – January 31, 2002 – The House of Commons Standing Committee on Environment and Sustainable Development along with Parliament of Europe, Council of Europe and United Kingdom parliamentarians met on January 28 with United States legislators to discuss energy policy and climate change.


The meetings were highlighted by a formal sitting with the United States Senate Environment Committee chaired by Senator Jeffords.  Also on the agenda was a summit meeting with members of the House of Representatives Subcommittee on Science.  During these meetings there were vigorous discussions on future energy policy, renewable energy and the need to bring the United States into the international effort to combat climate change.


The discussions emphasized the need for increasing the awareness of United States legislators to the economic advantages and opportunities put forward in the Kyoto process as well as the cost of inaction inherent to non-participation in it.  Clearly, successful action on climate change will require full international cooperation including the United States.


The climate change issue is not only about costs but benefits and opportunities.  Canadian parliamentarians stressed that, as the world moves forward with new technologies, increasing efficiencies and implementing innovative market mechanisms in meeting the climate change challenge, countries that remain outside the process will be put at a competitive disadvantage.  The cost of inaction on climate change will almost certainly be greater that the costs of implementing a preventative plan.


The tripartite discussions were open and involved bipartisan participation from the United States Congress.  Members of Congress welcomed these discussions.  Follow-up opportunities are presently being examined for United States, European and Canadian parliamentarians.