10 December 2010 Politics

Have we turned the corner yet?

It’s been disappointing to read the coverage of COP16 in Cancún, but I can’t say our Canadian delegation’s attitude is surprising. It’s the same old myopic strategy of hiding behind our economic ties with the USA to justify inaction. Canada has now taken home five Fossil of the Day awards (three in the first day!) for such accomplishments as touting our non-existent regulations to ban coal power, and pushing for a new Kyoto with no actual targets. Well done!

In Minister John Baird’s talking points, I found the following gems:

“Countries that have signed on to the [Copenhagen] Accord are responsible for more than 85 per cent of greenhouse gas emissions.”

That’s lovely, Minister Baird. It’s too bad that none of those countries are actually legally bound to do anything about their emissions. But give yourself a pat on the back for talking about it, at least.

“Success in the fight against global warming will only come with everyone aboard, everyone with an oar in the water and everyone rowing together.”

Since you and Japan seem to be the only ones not ready to board the second phase of Kyoto, I can only assume you’re talking about the delegation’s travel plans for the trip back to Canada. Bravo, I do say! I was wondering why you only bought a one way plane ticket, you sly fox! This is a wonderful concrete example of reducing Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions.

“This year, Canada finalized standards for regulating emissions from passenger vehicles and light trucks that are aligned with those of the U.S. We are also working towards doing the same for heavy-duty vehicles.”

Well, no wonder this government still thinks the oil sands are a good idea - your negotiations happen slower than geological cycles.

“We are striking out on our own as we work to regulate coal-fired electricity generation…”

Oh really? Because that is the most waffling, unverifiable statement I’ve heard so far. You’re working towards regulating coal plants, which probably means nothing at all. We’re working towards cold fusion and world peace, too. This is hardly “striking out on our own”. More like just striking out.

“Our provinces and territories demonstrate a real leadership and will contribute significantly to greenhouse gas reduction. For example, Quebec has done its part with green energy.”

Well, at least you got something right, Minister Baird. I knew there was a reason you got appointed to House Leader! While the federal government has been Turning the Corner for three years, Quebec took the inside track and has been setting measurable, verifiable greenhouse gas targets in its policy documents. Seriously, feel free to copy-paste their greenhouse gas reduction targets - it’s what you’re doing with the USA’s policies anyway.

I recommend checking out the Canadian Youth Delegation’s blog for on-the-ground reporting of what has been going on this week in Cancún.

Sam Nabi

Post a comment

Comments are closed.