But foreign leaders continued to question the Harper government's policies because of its refusal to honour its legally-binding obligations under the Kyoto Protocol to lower greenhouse gas emissions by 6% below 1990 levels between 2008 and 2012. Mr. Baird instead has introduced a plan that would allow Canada to honour its commitment about 20 years behind schedule.
"I [am getting] mixed signals from Canada, [because] they say: 'Yes, we're going to respect our Kyoto obligations and commitments but not now, but in 2020," said European Environment Commissioner Stavros Dimas at a news conference, earlier in the day. "I don't know whether this is respecting the obligation or not."
Mr. Dimas might be confused further, when he considers that Canada has moved the benchmark year from 1990 to 2006, which means even if Baird's universally panned plan actually achieves what it argues, Canada will still be 2% above our 2012 commitment in 2020.
On another front, Canada is showing more positive leadership, once again working behind the scenes to waterdown any declaration:
Canada is standing in the way of accepting tougher targets for developed countries at the annual United Nations climate change summit because it believes the approach would be a mistake, Environment Minister John Baird said Tuesday.
Delegates at the annual summit have drafted a declaration which recognized the "unequivocal science" that developed countries must lower their greenhouse gas emissions by 25-40% below 1990 levels by 2020 to prevent "the worst impacts of climate change."
A separate statement -- drafted at the conference by members of the Kyoto Protocol -- used similar language, but Mr. Baird said Canada would block this from being accepted by the conference this week if it didn't also recognize that developing countries must also make commitments.
I'm losing track, is this the third or fourth international gathering where Canada has objected to a declaration? Seems to me, we spend an awful lot of energy opposing and obstucting, which certainly represents a new twist on "leadership".
Baird is becoming so desperate to mitigate the damage, the Environment Canada website is now championing the United Nations:
Canada 's Environment Minister, John Baird, met today with Yvo de Boer, Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). Minister Baird emphasized Canada's support for the UN's efforts to reach agreement on a process for a new global climate change deal post-2012.
"On the day when the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change won a Nobel Peace Prize for its extraordinary work, I told Mr. de Boer that the science is clear, the world must now act, and Canada is ready to do that," Minister Baird said. "We support the UN process as the only way to get a truly global agreement."
I wonder if Baird tol Mr. de Boer this, before or after he called Canada a climate change hypocrite?
Speaking of confusion, make sense of this nonsense:
Minister Baird also outlined Canada's position that a new agreement must include all major emitters, with common but differentiated targets.
Common targets, that aren't common but different for everyone. Finally, some clarity!