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Pierre the Great

Harper Is Getting Rid Of Kyoto

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Ottawa now wants Kyoto deal scrapped

BILL CURRY

From Saturday's Globe and Mail

OTTAWA — Canada will not support attempts by other countries to set deeper emission-reduction targets for the Kyoto Protocol's second phase, according to private instructions to Canadian negotiators in Bonn, Germany.

The instructions obtained by The Globe and Mail also show that Canada wants the climate-change accord phased out in favour of a separate, voluntary deal.

Ottawa's public submission to United Nations talks in Bonn on the Kyoto Protocol last week indicated Canada wants more lenient targets for itself. The private instructions from the Foreign Affairs Department to the Canadian delegation show Canada will also oppose the widely held view that targets in the second phase, which begins after 2012, should be tougher than those in the first phase.

“Canada will not support agreement on language in the work program that commits developed countries to more stringent targets in the future,” states a line contained in 22 pages of instructions.

The paper also shows that Canada is threatening to pull out of the UN climate-change process unless it includes the United States and all other major polluters.

The international community is in the middle of two weeks of talks in Germany on what Kyoto will look like in its second phase. Two sets of talks are taking place simultaneously. The first is based on the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, a 1994 international treaty supported by 189 countries that involves voluntary commitments to address climate change.

The second talks are about the Kyoto Protocol, a 1997 addition that significantly strengthens the convention with legally binding targets for reductions of greenhouse gas emissions. While 163 countries are in the protocol, only Canada and 34 other countries took on targets for the first phase.

The United States continues to take part in the climate-change convention but is not part of Kyoto.

The instructions to Canadian negotiators reveal Ottawa is pushing for the Kyoto Protocol to disappear.

“Canada does not support a continuation of the status quo beyond 2012, and has no preconceived view on how a new commitment period might be structured.”

The paper says, however, a new agreement “must include the USA and all major developing country emitters and allow for different types of commitments based on national circumstances. Canada would ideally like to see the two tracks related to the future converge into a single inclusive and effective approach and believes the Convention Dialogue has more potential for this.”

The instructions show that rather than looking to the post-2012 phase, Canada's position is that the working group must spend “at least two years” focused on past actions by the involved countries to determine what is working and what is not, and that it will not support any measures beyond that.

Federal Minister of the Environment Rona Ambrose said Canada is looking cautiously at what further Kyoto commitments would mean.

“Canada's position is that we support the two-year assessment period that is going to commence after the meetings in Bonn right now, and a number of countries are supporting that assessment period as well, and then we will, after that, decide whether or not we can make further [Kyoto] commitments,” she said when asked whether Canada opposes other countries setting tougher targets.

“We have an excellent international negotiating team in Bonn right now, and they are acting in the best interests of Canada, and I have full confidence that they will do what's needed.”

Ms. Ambrose was asked whether she prefers the convention route or the Kyoto route.

“Both tracks are very important,” she replied.

“What a lot of members from the United Nations that are involved in this would like to see is all countries come to the table, which is why the open dialogue has been developed. We all want to see the open dialogue succeed because there's a number of countries that aren't in the Kyoto Protocol. This is an opportunity to bring them onboard. Canada will be actively involved in both tracks as we move forward.”

Environmentalist Steven Guilbeault of Greenpeace Canada, who is in Bonn and has attended every major climate-change meeting since 1992's summit in Rio de Janeiro, says the instructions show Canada is attempting to “sabotage” the Kyoto talks. He predicted their release will trigger a “small nuclear bomb” of controversy today in Bonn.

“This is a serious diplomatic incident,” he said.

Ms. Ambrose also confirmed that she has asked her department to consider what it would mean for Canada to become the seventh country in the Asia-Pacific partnership on climate change, but she insisted the partnership is not an alternative to the Kyoto Protocol.

NDP Leader Jack Layton also obtained the instructions last night and described Canada's position as “extremely disturbing.”

Mr. Layton said the position is an attempt to destroy Kyoto.

“It's sort of like pulling the pin off a grenade and rolling it into the negotiations,” he said. “Canada has completely betrayed the global partnership.”

broadview.jpg

A pedestrian walks along Broadview Ave. with a hazy city skyline in the background in Toronto, Ont. June 8, 2005. (Kevin Van Paassen/The Globe and Mail)

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The difference in beetween that gov and that old one on Kyoto is than the liberals paid lip service to Kyoto but had no intention to actually do something to reach the targets, while the conservatives also have no intention to meet the targets but doesnt BS anyone about it.

The US actually have a better environmental record than Canada.

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Well I believe thats true to an extent. But the next Liberal Govt. I believe won't fool around with stuff like this anymore because the last one just got complacent. But then again I'm probly wrong just look at the fastest growing party in Canada and it will tell you that Canadians care about the enviroment which is the Green Party.

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The US actually have a better environmental record than Canada.

Not necessarily true. True, certain States (California, Vermont, Washington, and perhaps a few others are better than Canada's record. But other states are very polluting. Infact, the US is the largest poluter in the world - I'm sure China is a biggie to, but smaller than the US. Furthermore the stats the US came out with at the last Kyoto convention means that they are starting to polute less, but the amount that the US pollutes compared to us is astronomical, and although they may have cut back to a certain "more" than us, per capita they still polute the most in the world ... it is like a bully saying, you should be happy ... I beat you up "less" today.

The Federal Government should take the lead from those certain leading States, and start implementing greater reduction methods asap.

d take the lead from those certain leading States, and start implementing greater reduction methods asap.

Edited by Bacchus

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Isn't asthma an epidemic in Canada? I think the Green Party were the only one's talking about this even though I found it hysterical that Harper is one of the affected.

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The US actually have a better environmental record than Canada.

I see the honorable President Bush and his Misinformation campaign works well in Canada. American's don't buy that crap, they are an intelligent community. The commercials on TV are State propaganda to try and brain wash the world there are no problems(Clean burning coal plants). Various areas of the US contribute >60% of Ontario's Smog from such sources as their Coal Burning plants. Canadian's love our little gas efficient cars while American's love the Hummer. Again, how is this better environmentally?

I agree, Canada is a horrible contributor to greener pastures brought forth by consecutive Liberal and Conservative governments. Both only care about corporate tax cuts and business incentives and have always paid lip service to the environment. Alberta is gearing up to become a huge polluting Province as they increase the oil output for the USA. (Hmmm, technically is this our pollution?)

Kyoto is a joke because you can buy emission credits from say Sweden. How does this help the world and our conquest of planet cleanup?

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I read somewhere Americans were buying small cars again while Canada was still buying huge SUV's. Then I saw a report on the National about SUV buyers in Toronto saying they will continue to buy the huge vehicles. Then Canadiandriver came out with the car totals in Canada and the F-150 was king everywhere except Quebec (Mazda 3) and Nova Scotia (Civic). Now don't take this as unlce sam talking down on Canada because if you've seen any of my political posts you will know where I stand on things.

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I read somewhere Americans were buying small cars again while Canada was still buying huge SUV's. Then I saw a report on the National about SUV buyers in Toronto saying they will continue to buy the huge vehicles. Then Canadiandriver came out with the car totals in Canada and the F-150 was king everywhere except Quebec (Mazda 3) and Nova Scotia (Civic). Now don't take this as unlce sam talking down on Canada because if you've seen any of my political posts you will know where I stand on things.

Hi Pierre.

Uncle Sam and Canada are fine now that we have a pretend Redneck in power here. Personally I do not mind the Republican party and understand the platform. Unfortunately President Bush is a big spender which defeats traditional conservative movements. I hate talking politics as there just no politicians that are not bought enywhere in the world. I don't mind your president at all.

To answer your research, in Ontario it is about 53% cars 47% trucks for sales. I cannot speak for all of Canada as each community differs like New York would compared to North Carolina. Different needs dictate sales. Truck sales used to be huge but things like Smart Cars are taking off. Daimler sold 25,000 of tehm in Canada last year. USA to get them soon.

What gets me is before Kyoto, the Bush Administration rewrote environmental law for coal fired plants that they did not have to make clean air changes until they upgraded their plants. Now 600 aging coal-fired power plants, mainly in the East and Midwest USA are among the biggest sources of air pollution in Ontario, Rhode Island, Buffalo and New York. Ontario had 3 plants, now two as Mississauga was shut down. Yet Canada is a guilty polluter according to US governors seeking election victories.

These politicians should look in their own communities. The Sammis plant in Ohio has four smokestacks, one of which is 1,000 feet tall. By contrast, the Empire State Building in New York City is 1,453 feet tall. The Sammis plant is made up of seven power-producing units that collectively emit nearly as much sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide as all of New York’s coal-fired power plants combined. Now lets compare this again, Ontario has TWO coal plants that pollute. Hmmm...... :wacko:

Edited by InsaneAVSfan

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Yes I know Bushies record on the enviroment and its sad and pathetic. But people are finally waking up but they are doing it slowly. States are now sueing the federal government for the lack of care for the enviroment. Washington, Oregon, California and even MONTANA have entered Kyoto type agreements because Montana is losing its Glacier National Park and Washington, Oregon and California are doing it because of smog. Washington and Oregon have made California emission standards standard and didn't bow down to detroit automakers. If Americans are to change they MUST look west and Northeast instead of south but then again all the states except Montana (but they have a democratic gov.) are blue states.

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I know New York sued the major polluter Ohio Edison Co. and won so they have to spend roughly $1.2 billion in upgrades to kill the smog output in Ohio.

Now the same Attorney General is trying to sue Ontario with words like Ontario's coal fired plants "MAY" not meet Ontario clean air regulations. Is this guy for real, Canadians do not sue on a hunch, we need facts. I hope they do have some power with NAFTA though as it only makes my air cleaner. :)

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Its Elliot Spitzer the guy takes down big bussiness heads and goes after corrupt individuals, he's also running for govenor of New York.

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Its Elliot Spitzer the guy takes down big bussiness heads and goes after corrupt individuals, he's also running for govenor of New York.

Thanks, I forgot his name and wanted to look this up. The bad is he is a politician, the good is that he is forcing polluters to at least do something. Ah to walk out the door and to breath in a big breath of fresh air.

cough..cough..cough :D

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I have to take a stand for Western Canada here because it seems like the majority of posters are from out East (my former stomping ground).

First of all, there seems to be a lot of uncalled for Harper bashing and frankly it seems a little baseless and inspired by the Canadian media who remain more "comfortable" with a Liberal government. Kyoto seems to be dragged down into this forum of baseless attacks.

First of all, Harper is not anti-environment which seems to be the underlying tone of these arguments. He's looking for alternative solutions to Kyoto because Kyoto would be a total mess to implement. Letting big polluters off the hook in Russia and other "non-first world" countries would be akin to bailing the ocean with a bucket especially as China and India will soon consume half of the world's oil output.

The real solution is to stop urban sprawl and get people on their bikes and on their feet again instead of in their "4 miles to the gallon" H2. It would also help if people in India and China had something better to do than screw their wife and have 30 kids in their lifetime - but that's just me.

And even if Kyoto worked it would reduce global emissions by 5%, much less than the 50% output needed to stabilize global warming.

So to sum up, Harper's not a bad guy - give him a chance, get on your bike, and send some rubbers to the Far East.

Oh and Al Gore has a great movie coming out soon, it's called: An Inconvenient Truth. It examines the effect that we're having on global warming. I plan on going to see it as soon as it comes out and I expect to be completely blown away.

Edited by zumpano21

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It would also help if people in India and China had something better to do than screw their wife and have 30 kids in their lifetime - but that's just me.

China has their birth-control policy. People there aren't having 30 kids.

1 in the city, 2 or 3 in the country.

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I have to take a stand for Western Canada here because it seems like the majority of posters are from out East (my former stomping ground).

First of all, there seems to be a lot of uncalled for Harper bashing and frankly it seems a little baseless and inspired by the Canadian media who remain more "comfortable" with a Liberal government. Kyoto seems to be dragged down into this forum of baseless attacks.

First of all, Harper is not anti-environment which seems to be the underlying tone of these arguments. He's looking for alternative solutions to Kyoto because Kyoto would be a total mess to implement. Letting big polluters off the hook in Russia and other "non-first world" countries would be akin to bailing the ocean with a bucket especially as China and India will soon consume half of the world's oil output.

The real solution is to stop urban sprawl and get people on their bikes and on their feet again instead of in their "4 miles to the gallon" H2. It would also help if people in India and China had something better to do than screw their wife and have 30 kids in their lifetime - but that's just me.

And even if Kyoto worked it would reduce global emissions by 5%, much less than the 50% output needed to stabilize global warming.

So to sum up, Harper's not a bad guy - give him a chance, get on your bike, and send some rubbers to the Far East.

Oh and Al Gore has a great movie coming out soon, it's called: An Inconvenient Truth. It examines the effect that we're having on global warming. I plan on going to see it as soon as it comes out and I expect to be completely blown away.

I'll just agree and move on. As an Albertan, Kyoto sucks. *shrugs* I'm still on the fence with Harper at this point but this move is for Western Canada. After being ignored for the past 20 or so years, it's about time.

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A move for Western Canada?? I'm confused because I know a bunch on BC'ers and they aren't happy. Harper is just helping out his oil buddies.

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A move for Western Canada?? I'm confused because I know a bunch on BC'ers and they aren't happy. Harper is just helping out his oil buddies.

Whatever, Alberta then. I figured me being from Calgary would've made it obvious.

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First of all, Harper is not anti-environment which seems to be the underlying tone of these arguments. He's looking for alternative solutions to Kyoto because Kyoto would be a total mess to implement. Letting big polluters off the hook in Russia and other "non-first world" countries would be akin to bailing the ocean with a bucket especially as China and India will soon consume half of the world's oil output.

I do not expect Prime Minister Harper or any Canadian politician to take the environment seriously. Strip mining in Alberta to dig out the oil has gone on for quite a while now and will thrive under the new administration. They have no incentive to bring in harsh pollution controls. (This is not Harper bashing, this is Canadian Politician bashing as elections are not lost on the environment)

Can you supply one shred of evidence(Bill in the House, research Papers, Laws on the books etc.) that our right honourable Prime Minister is for the environment? If you cannot than your above statement may actually be just the type of non-facts that you are criticizing the media about. Personally I don't think our Prime Minister is a polluter or anti-environment but i have no proof and as such is my opinion. I like the man and hope he does well in his first year as the leader of our country.

I have to agree with you as Kyoto is a very flawed agreement that just makes no sense. Anyone can write an agreement but implementing it is an entirely different thing.

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