in Environmental, Social commentary

Oh Canada, more like Oh, how embarrassing

There’s a new round of climate talks taking place in South Africa. A bit of a surprise yesterday when China called for a binding agreement. Let’s let that sink in for a mintue.


China wants binding emissions targets. What does Canada want? To stick it’s head in the sand, the Tar Sands to be precise.

Last week’s Quirks and Quarks had a segment on the talks in Durban and a little recap about how we’re all doing with Kyoto. Did you know Canada’s emissions rose by 17% from 1990 levels (the 1990 levels were the baseline for Kyoto, we were actually supposed to decrease from that)? Did you know the US only went up 7%? Yup, we’re worse than the US. We’re basically the worst climate offender in the world.

Overall developed countries actually did decrease their emissions, mostly due to European counties. This was partly due to the economic downturn but Germany seems to be doing OK and also lowering it’s emissions, caused in a large part to government initiatives.

So Canada failed Kyoto and now it’s poo-pooing on the very thought of a new agreement. It’s past whines include “The US isn’t doing it, why do I have to?”. Basically Canada says some of the largest emitters (US, China, Brazil) aren’t covered by Kyoto so it’s useless. Right, because we wouldn’t want Canada to set a progressive example, or do our part to reduce global emission anyway, maybe just because it’s the right thing to do. And now China’s on board and Canada still poo-poos it!

All the Canadian government wants is to work the Tar Sands for all they’re worth and leave the rest of the world with the consequences. We all knew this going into the last elections and yet we still gave Harper a majority government. So shame on Harper for not recognizing what climate change really means, but also shame on Canadian voters for doing the exact same thing. Get informed.

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