Greens Announce New Climate Change Critic

June 23, 2009. OTTAWA–The Green Party of Canada today announces the appointment of Adriana Mugnatto-Hamu as Climate Advocate on its Shadow Cabinet, a post most recently held by Green Party Leader Elizabeth May.

In the next federal election, Ms. Mugnatto-Hamu will be the Green Party candidate challenging NDP leader Jack Layton in Toronto-Danforth.  A mother of five living in the riding, she has been active in many climate and energy groups in Toronto since becoming concerned about the climate crisis several years ago.  She has also been active with human rights issues throughout her life and is passionate about social justice.

“I’m glad to have such a knowledgeable and enthusiastic voice on the climate issue.  It’s disappointing that an issue with such far-reaching implications isn’t given the importance it deserves by the other parties.  The United Kingdom recognizes climate change and its connection with energy with a Department of Energy and Climate Change and Australia has a Department of Climate Change and Water because climate change is so tightly linked to water shortages there,” said Elizabeth May.  “In Canada, the threat of climate change is not officially recognized at this level.”

Ms. Mugnatto-Hamu is excited about her new role.  “My concerns about the threats from climate change drove me into active politics,” she says, “I’m more concerned today than I was just a few years ago.  There’s more awareness of the issue, but there is also emerging evidence that the effects of climate change are occurring much more quickly than scientists had expected.  Arctic ice is melting at alarming rates and we’re seeing methane releases from the North, which weren’t supposed to happen for many decades.  The need to turn things around is more urgent than ever before.  It’s actually a relief to feel like I’m doing something to help.”

Ms. Mugnatto-Hamu is also devoting several hours each day to canvassing the riding she hopes to win in the next election.  She wants to work hard for “her constituents”, helping to build strong communities and understanding their needs.  “Being a candidate is a full-time job,” she says.  “And Climate Advocate is another full-time job.  So it is very busy – but lots of fun!”

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