Yesterday, a coalition of groups — including Ecojustice — asked Quebec Premier Jean Charest to end his government’s support for the deadly asbestos trade.

Our message was simple: refuse the loan guarantee that would allow the Jeffrey Mine to reopen. With the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, Rio+20, set to open next Wednesday, refusing the loan would send a strong message that Quebec supports a green economy.

Promoting the mining and export of Quebec asbestos — a known human carcinogen — is inconsistent with a green economy and sustainable development.

Here is the full letter:

Montreal, June 11, 2012
The Honorable Jean Charest, M.N.A.
Premier of Québec
Édifice Honoré-Mercier, 3rd Floor
835 René-Lévesque Blvd. E.
Québec, QC G1A 1B4
Dear Premier Charest:
As the world prepares for Rio+20, we renew our call for you to end government support for the asbestos industry and refuse the loan guarantee that would allow Jeffrey Mine to reopen.

Rio+20 will mark the 20th anniversary of the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (the “Earth Summit”). With a green economy theme, the conference is announced as an historic opportunity to define pathways to a safer, more equitable, cleaner, greener and more prosperous world for all.

The United Nations Environment Program defines green economy as one that results in improved human well-being and social equity, while significantly reducing environmental risks and ecological scarcities. Promoting the mining and export of Quebec asbestos – a known human carcinogen – is inconsistent with a green economy and sustainable development goals.

You played a leadership role at the 1992 Earth Summit as Canada’s environment minister. Now, on the occasion of Rio+20, we appeal to you to concretely demonstrate your continued commitment to a green economy by ending government support for the deadly asbestos trade.

We look forward to your response.