Friday, June 01, 2007

Canada Is "Special"

Stephen Harper is preparing to deliver a message to his G8 counterparts. Canada is "special", which is code for "shirking our responsibilities":
Stephen Harper will have a special climate-change message for his fellow leaders at next week's G8 summit: Canada has unique problems hampering its effort to reduce greenhouse gases.
With the leaders attempting to reach a deal on climate change, the prime minister will seek recognition of several challenges Canada faces in tackling the problem.

Senior Canadian officials told journalists at a pre-summit briefing that any acceptable deal would need to account for this country's growing economy, population, and oil industry. But they refused to clarify exactly what that means.

"We're special, we're unique in the G8," said one official.

"We're not like Europe, we're not like the United States in all respects. . . We'll be looking for a result that both advances things on an international level but also is true to Canadian requirements."

Last time I checked, Norway is also part of Europe, as well as a major oil producer in the world, comparable to Canada. Norway's "special", yet:
Norway wants to cut its net greenhouse gas emissions to zero by 2050 in the world's toughest national plan for fighting global warming, said Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg. He said that Norway, the world's number five oil exporter, wanted other rich nations to set similar "carbon neutral" aims.

"The greenhouse our most dangerous environmental problem," Stoltenberg said in his speech, listing risks such as thawing of Siberian permafrost, death of the Amazon rainforest or a spread of the Sahara. Under the 2050 plan, domestic emissions would be offset by cuts abroad or by buying emissions quotas on international markets. Norway could, for instance, help China or India to shift to solar or wind power from burning coal or oil.

The Americans produce almost three times the amount of oil Canada does, so I guess it is correct to say Canada is "not like the United States".

The Canadian posture looks for excuses, rather than action.


Ed said...

Colour me a cynic me the justificatons are meaningless and obviously transparent. The reason Harper is stalling on carbon is becuase he is beholden to the money men running Alberta Tar Sands projects.

Just today I read more about it from Naomi Klein: here

I suggest a quick look at it, it makes parsing the Harper government stand on carbon much easier.

Steve V said...

Ed, thanks for the link!

Gayle said...

So let me get this straight - the conservatives cannot act immediately to lower GHG because of the growing economy, but when the liberals made repairing that economy their number one priority, they did not get the job done?

I am not excusing the liberals' failure, but am I the only one who sees yet another double standard?

Steve V said...


Please refrain from the use of logic here, it only confuses the propaganda. Thanks :)

Karen said...

Well isn't that special.

We're going to a summit, to be a nowhere.

Actually, I guess we'll be a bridge to, how to lie, obfuscate, spin, do whatever it takes to renege on your obligations.

We'll be a shining example of telling reluctant nations exactly what they must do to "get out", of what has been established and what is yet to come.

We look like idiots fellow Canadians, absolute idiots. He'll be laughed down, but don't minimize what fuel he's given to reluctant brokers. How has he done this? He's actually taken our honest broker reputation, our credibility, and he is standing, (stomping) on that to gain audience, only to turn it on it's head.

Back to another thread Steve, my feelings go beyond disgust here. Centimetre, by inch, this government is changing this country, here at home and abroad. In such a short space of time, I cannot believe what they have done.

I'd love to know what their supporters are proud of.

Steve V said...

It's interesting to contrast this admission, with Baird's comments about working with the Europeans to move the Americans. Quite a bargaining chip to tell others that we can't be expected to do what others must do.

The funny thing, Canada could have used this argument within the Kyoto requirements. I distinctly remember European officials in Nairobi being "sympathetic" to Canada's challenges, which meant that we had leeway with our 2012 targets.

Steve V said...

I missed this judgement of the Green Plan by Deutsche Bank. It's hard to keep up with all the glowing reviews.

Karen said...

It's hard to keep up with all the glowing reviews

Glowing being the operative word.

burlivespipe said...

Darn right we're special... The speech will no doubt underline the specific 'ways' the new Canada is so special --
Under 13 years of draconian Liberal rule, Canada was a laggard, a fop of immense immobilization, on the environment front.
The CON/Reform/Alliance Parties in their role as opposition did its best to shine light on this file, by derailing, complaining, denying and avoiding the issue of global warming and 'so-called' greenhouse gas emissions.
Steve Harpor was a lieding emmisary attempting to get all parties to agree on how best not to implement Kyoto, all in a sly way of calling attention to this terrible predicament.
Steve Harpor has the plan. It's under one of these cups. Guess which one and win a prize!

Steve V said...

"The CON/Reform/Alliance Parties in their role as opposition did its best to shine light on this file, by derailing, complaining, denying and avoiding the issue of global warming and 'so-called' greenhouse gas emissions."

It was a rallying cry.