A top United Nations official says he is no longer alarmed by Canada’s stand on the Kyoto Protocol now that he better understands the Conservative government’s position.
“I must admit, I was worried for some time, but I was much encouraged by the clarification,” Yvo de Boer, executive secretary to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, said in Montreal Tuesday.
He said he now understands that Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s government wasn’t rejecting the value of the Kyoto accord, but rather observed its objectives cannot be met within the target deadline.
De Boer was responding to reporters’ questions after addressing about 300 delegates, including environmentalists and politicians.
The UN official’s statements clearly pleased federal Environment Minister John Baird, who was at the media event and also addressed the delegates
"In spite of the problems that Canada is encountering, there is a policy framework put in place," said Yvo de Boer, executive secretary to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.
"There is a commitment to an internationally negotiated framework, so I must admit that it made me feel a lot better," he said.
Yvo de Boer is taking Baird at his word, but he might want to brush up on Stephen Harper's history, as it relates to Kyoto before reaching the above conclusion. The Conservative apprehension has nothing to do with failure to meet targets, but a profound distrust of the entire system. I'm not going to bother pulling out all the quotes, everyone knows the timelines.
What did we learn today? Canada really is a "world leader" that agrees with the United Nations approach to climate change, or John Baird is a polished salesman, that knows how to say the right things to curry favor? Until the experts say different, I'll stick with the latter.