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NDP's Fleming heads to Copenhagen climate meeting

The British Columbia New Democratic Party's environment critic, Rob Fleming, says he expects to hear B.C. premier Gordon Campbell give a selective account of the province's climate change fight in Copenhagen.

Campbell will likely highlight the so-far-inactive cap and trade system, the greenhouse gas reduction act and the carbon tax, said Fleming, who leaves for Copenhagen on Dec. 13 and will be there through the summit's Dec. 18 close.

Unmentioned will be the government's ongoing push to open up offshore oil and gas exploration, its support for the Enbridge pipeline that will move oil from Alberta's oil sands to the B.C. coast and the $200 million in subsidies the government is giving to the oil and gas industry this year.

“There are so many inconsistencies with the Campbell government's talk on climate action,” said Fleming.

Fleming will attend the summit as an observer with the Blue-Green Alliance, a North American coalition of conservation, business and labour groups.

“I think this is an historic moment in which the world comes to a consensus and rises to the greatest challenge of our times,” he said. “Climate change has become the overarching lens through which we have to take into account all our actions in government and in the economy.”

Campbell will represent B.C. in Copenhagen along with a staff member and a B.C. Climate Action Secretariat official, the Tyee reported last week. Environment Minister Barry Penner, Energy Minister Blair Lekstrom, and Minister of State for Climate Action John Yap will be among the MLAs staying home.

Andrew MacLeod is The Tyee’s Legislative Bureau Chief in Victoria. Reach him here.

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