Saturday, May 20, 2006

What A Farce

Canada is now, not only undermining Kyoto in Bonn, it is actively trying to kill it. Instead of working on phase two, Canada is working behind the scenes to kill the accord and effectively undermining the good faith efforts of other countries:
Canada will not support attempts by other countries to set deeper emission-reduction targets for the Kyoto Protocol's second phase, according to private instructions to Canadian negotiators in Bonn, Germany.

The instructions obtained by The Globe and Mail also show that Canada wants the climate-change accord phased out in favour of a separate, voluntary deal...

The instructions to Canadian negotiators reveal Ottawa is pushing for the Kyoto Protocol to disappear...

Steven Guilbeault of Greenpeace Canada, who is in Bonn and has attended every major climate-change meeting since 1992's summit in Rio de Janeiro, says the instructions show Canada is attempting to “sabotage” the Kyoto talks. He predicted their release will trigger a “small nuclear bomb” of controversy today in Bonn.

“This is a serious diplomatic incident,” he said.

The second phase of Kyoto is a rather simple proposition- further cuts in emissions. The phase doesn't even begin for another 6 years, which gives ample time to develop an effective strategy. How can Ambrose claim to have any credibility on the environment when she balks at such a simple premise? If Canada wants to focus on "clean technologies" and scientific advancement to tackle emissions as Ambrose has stated, I don't understand how that desire is in conflict with the idea of reduced emissions. Get there however you want, but the accord simply asks for results. Obviously, Canada has no desire to cut emissions, it really is that simple. If the Tory plan is real, then Canada should have no problem agreeing to a binding construct, that gives plenty of time. Ambrose takes us all for fools if we can't see the hypocrisy at play in Bonn.

Ambrose keeps talking about the United States and Canada's relatively low percentage of world emissions. I thought the Tories were proposing the "made in Canada" solution- what the hell does that have to do with George Bush? Copouts, shell games and the mirage of competing plans like the Asia-Pacific farce, all done to cloud a very simple issue. Up or down, clean or dirty, committed or not. My hope today, as news of Canada's duplicity makes the rounds in Bonn, is that Canada is asked to leave the talks entirely. A powerful symbol to embarrass this government and show the Canadian people how far we have fallen. We were there to lead, not undermine and crush morale- an absolute disgrace of the highest order.

Good on the Liberals:
OTTAWA (CP) - The federal Liberals are demanding Environment Minister Rona Ambrose recall Canada's delegation from Bonn after they said she deliberately tried to "undermine" the Kyoto Protocol by instructing her officials to block any consensus from moving forward on its next phase.

And Opposition environment critic Scott Brison says Ambrose herself should resign her position as chair at Conference of the Parties because of what he calls "her covert attempts to sabotage the development of a binding international consensus on global warming."

Brison says Ambrose's actions are outrageous and dangerously duplicitous and could irreparably damage Canada's reputation at the United Nations.

Outrageous is right.

Green Party candidate Elizabeth May, sums it all up with a great performance on CTV


Ti-Guy said...

I hope the Germans and the French choose to embarass us. This is getting out of control.

berlynn said...

Hey, didja see this? It's one of the two biggies I'm trying to follow today (the other is the lie in the Naitonal Pest). I think we have to keep the noise up on these because it's all happening really fast and being May Long, folks aren't going to be paying a whole lot of attention to the news.

Brian said...

Through what means can we put this government's feet to the fire? This is embarassing and instead of being a leader for change which can have positive social and economic impacts for Canada, we trip merrily down the road paved by the US.

Steve V said...

I just saw an interview on CTV with Green Party candidate Elizabeth May. She did an amazing job of tearing the Tories to shreds. Very impressive.

I've never been much of a protester, but if Rona Ambrose comes anywhere near my part of the country, I'm going to be there.

David said...

Rookie environment minister taking heat over climate change

She's stopped telling the lie and unleashed a major hoopla in a portfolio that was never one of Harper's top priorities

Don Martin CanWest News Service OTTAWA

The bureaucrats suggested she duck. Keep her head down for another 18 months until safely after the next election. Pretend the Kyoto accord was a pollution-reduction target fact and not a mission-impossible fiction.

In other words, continue spreading the big Liberal lie even knowing the former government's $10-billion plan would never come close to cutting greenhouse gas emissions to a level six per cent below 1990 levels.

To her credit, Environment Minister Rona Ambrose arrived at her new job and asked them to translate the Kyoto-enforced reduction of 195 megatonnes of carbon into terms she could understand.

The bureaucrats fiddled with calculators and pencils. Well, they said, it's a bit more than all the power generation in Canada. If the country went dark and cut back a few hundred thousand cars, it could hit the target.

That's when the rubber hit the road for the petite firecracker MP from Alberta. She declared Kyoto, as we know it in Canada, dead.

Ambrose takes the chair job in Bonn, Germany, this week at an international conference on climate change in a curious position. She'll represent the first signatory of the Kyoto accord to publicly admit her home country can't meet its treaty commitment of reducing gas emissions to six per cent below 1990 levels.

Long before the $45 million (!!!!!) conference in Montreal in the thick of last November's election campaign, the event where an electioneering Paul Martin scolded the United States for having a superior gas-reduction record, that much was obvious.

"At that time, they knew we could not meet the targets and no one said a word," Ambrose said in an interview Friday. "We could have kept lying and continued through the next election, but I told them we should admit it and get out of the target business. It sent shock waves through the department. But that doesn't mean we should stop trying."

In a triumph of pragmatism over pipedreams, Ambrose went to work eliminating plans to purchase hot air abroad in favour of tangible investments at home.

She killed Canadian plans to purchase a forest in Costa Rica as part of the Kyoto caper.
She vetoed trips by senior environment officials to Russia to buy fixer-upper factoriese for the emission credits they could generate.

And she axed a continuing push to direct Canadian foreign aid and development assistance away from the most needy recipients into the hands of less-deserving beneficiaries just because they offered clean-up credits.

"The tentacles of this target-chasing went through almost every department," she says. "That really blew my mind."
And yet, she hedges still in delivering last rights to the contentious global treaty, pushing for Canada's greenhouse gas reduction requirements to be softened.

By how much? you ask. She doesn't know. "If we set a domestic target, it will be a reachable target."

And what's the penalty if we break our international commitment? Again, she doesn't know for sure.

But on this point, Ambrose sounds resolute. Canadian taxpayers will not be sending billions overseas to buy hot air rights. The money to fight our pollution will be invested in Canadian know-how.

It sounds simplistic. But transferring pollution rights from countries that have no intention of polluting to those seeking a bigger carbon belch doesn't add up to a reduced global discharge in my rudimentary math. OK, true, companies forced to pay for their pollution will find ways to eliminate it, but it still smacks of a massive transfer of wealth from developed to developing countries, which might not be the best Earth-saving strategy.

So give Ambrose credit. She's stopped telling the lie and unleashed a major hoopla in a portfolio that was never one of Stephen Harper's top priorities.

Beyond the greenhouse gas fight, she has set in motion water, air and soil reviews, an environmental-protection overhaul and a renewable energy strategy, which will be unveiled in a few weeks.

But the toughest fight will be killing Kyoto once and for all. "It's not like I don't know the Liberals haven't sold Kyoto to Canadians. It's got the support of 89 per cent of Quebecers. But we've got to tell Canadians the truth."

That's one heckuva green minister talking. But in this department, that's a compliment

Steve V said...

david(is that your name now?)

Next time leave out the Canwest part, I might actually read the whole thing. Spin, spin, spin and bad spin at that. I'll be blunt, you have to be a ignorant moron, or a partisan hack, not to see the tranparent agenda at play. Save a copy of that crap, and pull it out again in five years. Let's see where we are with this champion of the environment.

lecentre said...

Well said. It's rather sad how they're in the pocket of the incredibly backward heads of big business on this one (or maybe just Alberta? hmmm...).
I don't think, like ti-guy has suggested, that it would do good for us to be embarassed by others, but considering the Conservative stance, it seems we'll be doing that ourselves just fine.

Centrerion Canadian Politics

lecentre said...

However, to be fair, Kyoto's goals haven't been met, and won't be. In fact, it's a sham the Liberals even signed the thing when Mulroney's PCs couldn't get the country to adhere to a previous treaty signed in 88, which they already found impossible to adhere to in '90.