Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Canada: The Kyoto Poison

One aspect that seems to get lost in this endless debate about Canada's commitment to Kyoto is how our internal tension effects the greater process. There are many nations that are entirely engaged and passionately committed to Kyoto. These nations enter the latest round of talks with the shared goal of advancing the discussion, within the confines of this protocol.

In every domestic discussion about Kyoto, as reliable as the sunrise a Conservative points out the flaws. Fine, people dislike Kyoto and think there are better avenues to impart change. However, what I find particularly offensive about the Conservative perspective, we stay within Kyoto for political cover, while simultaneously undermining the effectiveness of nations that are truly committed. Join the Asia-Pacific Partnership, heck start another environmental movement with all those "cutting edge" positions in the Green Plan, but stop messing with someone else's baby:
"Most people here are deeply concerned that Canada's hesitation to support the Kyoto Accord could begin to influence other countries and actually lead to a collapse of the accord," said Oliver.

UN Environment Program Executive Director Achim Steiner said: "Were Canada to become the first country not to fulfill it's commitments under Kyoto, it would certainly be a first building block that falls out of the wall of building a global climate coalition."

Ambrose and company are effectively working the rooms in Nairobi to find any cracks in the consensus, so we have allies to say "look here, we are not alone in our concerns". Instead of building something, our clear objective is to cause dissension and sow disharmony to rationalize our desire to gut the objectives. Is Canada committed to firm targets and emissions trading? Answer, unequivocally no. The question then becomes, why are we there? Why is Canada the equivalent of a fox in the henhouse? Our government rejects Kyoto, let's move on and let the foolish countries continue on the failed course, while we do our own good work. I suspect a temptation to ask Canada to leave, but other nations still hope to move us and avoid the bad optics of a signed country dropping out, especially one that is/was actually respected.


knb said...

My suspicion Steve, is that they really thought that they could bring this conference to their way of thinking.

They are playing "at home" politics at an "away" game and they do not understand the difference. They can try to bully us here, but on the world stage...not going to happen.

Cancelling programs has not been given enough attention, IMO. Reporters tend to look elsewhere, (hair for example). That drives me crazy.

If we do not stand up, lead the way, she is saying, it's okay to be one of the last countries...

In 9 months, I've seen this country change, for the worse. I didn't actually think they could do this in such a short space in time.

Here we are though.

OttawaCon said...

A big part of the dynamic within UN circles is that notwithstanding that fringe opinion, current statements about Canada's compliance are sort of like saying someone is cheating on next year's taxes. Until there is a clear non-compliance, rules of diplomacy apply.

Anonymous said...

Never fear, Harper is near. He takes the word "innovate" and all derivatives out of his language for Canadians, and things suddenly seem much simpler.
Innovation is verboten. No more new, unless it is "New Government." The only innovation Canadians are decreed from it's current government is really old. Like Stalin old.
Brush up on history folks, soon we're going to be living it!
Cheers, and may the best old way win :)

Steve V said...

"Until there is a clear non-compliance, rules of diplomacy apply."

That is an excellent point.