Sunday, September 09, 2007

Leading The World

Despite claiming victory, it would appear that Harper's duplicity has left a bad taste with some nations following the APEC Summit. Canada the disingenious bully:
Abigail Jabines, a climate and energy campaigner for Greenpeace Southeast Asia. The Harper government was also singled out for choosing the year 2005 as a benchmark for its targets instead of using 1990, when emissions were much lower. Harper has blamed the previous government's economic policies for Canada's skyrocketing emissions that are more than 30 per cent above its Kyoto target, but the other countries don't see that as an excuse for announcing misleading targets.

"Canada has highlighted their national policy which is to cut their greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 from a 2005 baseline," said an APEC negotiator, with tongue in cheek, who asked not to be identified. "Canada was quite modest and considerate not to use 2006 as a baseline."

Jabinas said she spoke with delegates from several other developing countries who were annoyed with Canada's behaviour, suggesting that it had inadequate policies to fight climate change but was attempting to use its misleading targets "to project a sense of moral high ground," over the rest of the world.

While Jabinas refused to name countries that had specifically complained to her about the behaviour of Canada and other developed countries at the conference, she said many felt the climate change negotiations were rushed through, in the midst of separate bilateral or trilateral discussions on separate trade issues. Under the circumstances, she said they felt pressured to accept a declaration that didn't talk about Kyoto in order to avoid economic repercussions.

"They did say that directly, they felt that they were bullied, and indirectly, that this is not the proper venue, because they would be forced to agree on something," she said.

It is actually refreshing that other countries aren't buying into the Conservative vascade on emissions cuts, based on convenient baselines. It is also heartening that others are annoyed at the "moral high ground" nonsense that Canada has been projecting on the world stage, as though it is leading the charge, when in fact we are quite timid.

9 comments:

Mark Dowling said...

I'm sorry, but why should we take this statement seriously. If these countries have a problem on one of the major issues of our time, they shouldn't need to whisper to Greenpeace and hide behind their loudhailers.

But assuming Ms Jabines is truthful about what is being said to her that might mean endangering the foreign investment dollars these countries probably receive, wouldn't it. When the equation comes out like that, climate change doesn't seem so important to these people after all.

Scott Tribe said...

Such a cynic, Mark, but I dont buy it.

If Harper had threatened that, and it became public, the uproar in the HOuse would have been immense, prorogue or not.

More likely, these countries were trying to be "diplomatic" and didnt want to be seen as scuttling agreement, no matter how useless it was.

I mean, we all aspire to be better, right?

Steve V said...

"I'm sorry, but why should we take this statement seriously."

Sound reasonable enough, Harper pontificating, others just happen to notice the hypocrisy of clever baselines and such. I see it, why should it be a surprise that others do as well.

knb said...

Chinese President Hu Jintao upstaged the leaders' official declaration on climate change by lashing out at wealthy nations for bailing out on their legal obligation to help the developing world cope with global warming and acquire technologies to reduce emissions of heat-trapping gases.

He said China was willing to do its share, but it didn't have the capacity to do as much as its richer counterparts.

"Developed countries should face their historical responsibility and their current high per capita emissions (and) strictly abide by their emission reduction targets set forth in the Kyoto Protocol," Hu told Harper and the other leaders at a meeting of the 21-member Asia Pacific Economic Co-operation forum.

They should "honour their commitment on making technology transfers and providing financial support to developing countries, and continue to take the lead in reducing emissions after 2012," Hu said.


Someone isn't hiding.

Anonymous said...

Hilarious commentary from the 'developing countries' - if they actually said that.

'Projecting the moral high ground' - that's priceless. That's all Canada ever did when the Liberals were in charge 'project' - Liberals rarely even displayed the courage to defend the Canadian way of life. And in fact were/are quick to spend our money to ensure new 'Canadians' keep their old way of life here in Canada instead of becoming Canadian.

Steve V said...

"Liberals rarely even displayed the courage to defend the Canadian way of life. And in fact were/are quick to spend our money to ensure new 'Canadians' keep their old way of life here in Canada instead of becoming Canadian."

Racist inferences aside, Canada is a nation of immigrates, that has ALWAYS allowed people to maintain their cultures. What you argue is a weakness, is Canada's greatest strength. You apparently have no concept whatsoever of Canadian history.

Miles Lunn said...

I don't really get so worked up over the date chosen as the baseline, as long as the overall cuts are deeper the more recent the baseline is.

One of the concerns with the baseline is some countries such as Britain and Germany would have not meet the Kyoto targets had a different one been used. In Britain, the Industrial North was devastated in the late 80s and early 90s, while in Germany, many of the inefficent state-owned factories shut down after re-unification. I would rather see countries making consistent reductions year after year rather than one time massive reductions due to an uncontrollable economic event.

Steve V said...

"I don't really get so worked up over the date chosen as the baseline"

A common baseline is relevant because then you are comparing apples to apples, as opposed to the shell game Canada is engaging in. If everyone else is using that baseline, then we should too, unless of course you want to create the false impression of real progress :)

Miles Lunn said...

Steve V - I for a common baseline, I am simply pointing out it doesn't have to be 1990 necessarily. The point is the further ahead it is, the larger the reductions should have to be, while the further back the less below one has to go.

My point was I feel the 1990 baseline has in some ways unfairly made it easier for some countries such as Britain and Germany. Personally my choice would be 1997 as that was when Kyoto Protocol was signed so it makes most sense to do it at the starting date rather than some day before when other countries had no idea Kyoto Protocol was going to be created. Now if 1997 was used as the baseline, Canada's cut in emissions would be more than 6% below, perhaps maybe 12% below 1997 levels.