The two weeks of meetings in Bonn are the opening round of discussions on what the Kyoto Protocol should look like in its second, post-2012 phase. It is widely expected that the second phase will include stiffer penalties for countries that do not meet their targets. In a report submitted last week, Canada called for the second phase to be more lenient, with voluntary targets, longer deadlines and exceptions for Canada's natural-resource-based economy.
"It is time to take stock of our experience to date and to explore new options with an open mind," Ms. Ambrose said yesterday.
The main criticism of Kyoto is that it doesn't go far enough in curbing emissions. Quite telling that Ambrose is arguing that Kyoto is too rigid and we should look at further weakening for the future. I think we should get used to the word "voluntary", because it will be the cornerstone of the Conservatives environmental policy. Nothing says action, regulating industry and stiff penalties like a system with no enforceable targets. Profit-driven, amoral corporations will have the responsibility to do the right thing, while government offers superficial incentives that lack teeth. A recipe for complete failure if there ever was one.
How is Ambrose playing in Bonn:
The ECO newsletter, which is distributed at international environmental meetings and speaks on behalf of about 300 non-governmental organizations, joined Canadian environmentalists in calling on Ms. Ambrose to resign as chair of the climate-change talks.
"Avoiding dangerous climate change clearly requires leadership from industrialized countries such as Canada in reducing emissions now and an agreement on deeper reductions for the second commitment period," the newsletter said. "If you feel, as Chair of these proceedings, that you and your government are not committed to fulfill your obligations under the Kyoto Protocol and that you cannot provide this needed leadership for the future, please, do the honourable thing. Step down."
Steven Guilbeault of Greenpeace Canada is in Bonn, and said foreign diplomats and negotiators are quite surprised at Canada's new position toward the protocol.
"People in the corridors are talking about living a nightmare. After the leadership Canada showed in [December] in Montreal, to see such regression on the part of Canada is a bit of a shock to a number of delegations here," he said.
We should replace Ambrose with the CEO's of the various big oil and gas companies. In this way, we would avoid any confusion on who now controls the climate control debate in Canada. Ambrose is showing herself to be the industry stooge we all predicted.