Canada Pleads Technicality on Kyoto Non-Compliance

Fri, 2008-03-14 12:22Richard Littlemore
Richard Littlemore's picture

Canada Pleads Technicality on Kyoto Non-Compliance

Like a criminal who beats the rap because police lost a piece of evidence, the Canadian government is trying to dodge responsibility for failing to meet its Kyoto commitments by clinging to a technicality.

Defending itself against Federal Court suit brought by Friends of the Earth, the Canadian government argued this week that Kyoto targets “are not legally binding as they have not been adopted as an amendment to the Kyoto Protocol by agreement of all Parties.” A rough translation might be:  George Bush isn't playing fair; why should we?

The answer, to that hypothetical question at least, is that Canada promised that it would meet its Kyoto obligations. The Canadian Parliament even passed a Private Member's Bill last year that said it would be illegal under Canadian law to ignore Kyoto targets.

But the current government offered a dismissed sniff to that bill in court this week, announcing that the law had been “nullified” when the House of Commons later approved a Throne Speech that said Canada can't meet its Kyoto targets. This is logically problematic. Acknowledging a statement of fact - “Bill stole a package of sweets” - does not make the acknowledged truth legal.

And in this instance, it is not quite a fact that Canada cannot meet its Kyoto obligations. The country could still purchase carbon credits from other countries. Or Canada could commit itself to meeting more stringent emission cuts in the next round of the Kyoto treaty.

No, the Candian government was really saying: Canada WON'T meet its obligations - and now it's hired some smart lawyers to try to make that all seem okay.

Well, the Federal Court has yet to comment on the merit of the federal government excuses. But even it the court accepts the legal technicality, the damage will remain to Canada's international reputation - and to its future credibility as a potential partner in ANY negotiation.

 

 

Comments

I for one do not want Canada to have a reputation for brushing aside treaties negotiated by previous governments. Internal squabbling is one thing, international commitments are another entirely.

Fern Mackenzie

Hey just stopping by to get my dose of green info. Always good stuff here! I am trying to compile a list of stuff I can do to reduce my carbon emissions. MTV had a commercial about it, and got me interested. I have been to www.earthlab.com and they have a ton of tips but I was mostly impressed by their page where they have their users send in tips: http://www.earthlab.com/life/tips.aspx Does anyone else know of other data bases that I can find these types of small things that lower my emissions? EPA or WWF maybe?

Thanks for all your info and drop me a link if you guys see anything worth my time.

"Does anyone else know of other data bases that I can find these types of small things that lower my emissions? EPA or WWF maybe?"

I think this link will give you some valuable information:

http://tinyurl.com/2p2eoj

You're welcome.

rob, is Naomi Oreskes fat?

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Frank Bi, fact-addict and anti-lie bigot

"Al `Fat Al' Gore [is fat]" -- Harold Pierce

I for one do not want my government committing economic suicide attempting to address a mythical problem. Canada could shutdown everything and it would have no measurable effect on anything but out standard of living.
Kyoto is Sheer lunacy.

Fortunately the Canadian public does not share your position, or your ignorance of the "myth" of climate change.

Fortunatley, far fewer canadians believe in the myth than you think.
Like 66% of all APEGA members in Alberta just as a small example.
Just the left wing greenies that are in favour of taxing everything anyway.
Its not about climate you know. It about money, power and control.
Do some reading.

"Do some reading."

When you make such a statement without citing any sources, you're just being really, really dumb.

What's the great idea with ignoring ratified treaties anyway? A government should be free to ignore a treaty because a self-proclaimed Troll suddenly says it should?

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Frank Bi, fact-addict and anti-lie bigot

"Al `Fat Al' Gore [is fat]" -- Harold Pierce

A very small example. You need to get out of Alberta more. Compared to Americans, Canadians are way ahead on climate change. They've moved beyond deciding for themselves if it's real or not--they can see it with their own eyes--to wanting to actually do something about it, which is why Harper's minority government is being forced to even pretend to do something. Heck, even Gordon Campbell is bringing in a carbon tax in BC.

But you're right about it being all about money, power and control--and ideology, at least for those denying that global warming exists, or asserting that human actions are not causing it, or claiming that it will cost too much to do anything anyway. It certainly isn't about the science for them, that's for sure.

The only way we are "way ahead" of Americans on climate change is on rhetoric and CO2 emissions. Hate to break it to you Exusian, but Canadians are possibly the world's greatest climate change hypocrites.

Anyone can put a tax on gasoline and call it a carbon tax, let's see actual CO2 reductions.

Yeah, being outright anti-science is better than pretending to be pro-science. Or something.

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Frank Bi, fact-addict and anti-lie bigot

"Al `Fat Al' Gore [is fat]" -- Harold Pierce

Paul, don't confuse growing citizen awareness of the problem and willingness to take action with government policy or per capita emissions, which simply divides total emissions, including all industrial and commercial emissions, by total population. The tar sands alone will dramatically skew that calculation. True, even on a direct per capita personal usage basis Canadians no doubt do rank above Americans. Is that any wonder, given that on average Canadians need to heat their homes more months per year than do Americans? Or that virtually everything, including basics such as food, needs to be transported over greater distances thank to our low population density?

But that's not what I was talking about. Other than on internet forums such as this, or in the pages of the National Post, I have not encountered a single Canadian who is unaware of global warming, or who is outright sceptical that it is taking place, or that humans burning fossil fuels is the primary cause of it. Instead, just about everyone I meet is aware of the problem, and most want to know what steps they can take to reduce their personal impact.

Sure, some are only willing to make only token gestures, but that's the first step to getting them headed in the right direction. Others are willing to go much further. Like those I know who have organised the bulk purchase of residential solar voltaic and solar hot water systems for residential installation. Like those I know who have organised to install co-operative multi-residence ground-source geothermal systems. Like those I know who are actively developing a network of home energy auditors and trainers to show homeowners how to renovate to reduce their residential energy use. Like those I know who have invested in private wind farm development.

None of the above are waiting for government programs to be put into place, and a few have even resulted in government action to accommodate their efforts with policy and regulatory changes. Clearly the minority Harper conservative government or the Alberta conservative government are not going to lead the way, but they aren’t even going to follow without grass roots citizen action pushing and prodding them every step. If you want to just sit by waiting and watching for a measurable drop in CO2, see ya later, I've got work to do.

If you want to just sit by waiting and watching for a measurable drop in CO2, see ya later, I've got work to do.

If AGW is the real threat we are told it is, then a measurable drop in CO2 is a must in the near future.

At present, I see no indication whatsoever that Canadians as a whole are prepared to accept a hard CO2 cap. I applaud your own personal efforts, but everything else going on in Canada currently (including BC's new taxes) are simple tokenism.

There are still a few people around who believe that global warming is just a hoax. I know this because I work with them. These same people also believe that the Earth is only 4,000 years old, that man and dinosaurs coexisted and that the Sun is responsible for any global warming that may be taking place. They're also worried that an ice age is about to occur.

I'm not kidding, these people really do exist.

The Closet Environmentalist Blog @
http://polarbearadventures.blogspot.com/

I'm afraid to ask where you work. ;)

Hello Frank!

A carbon tax on fuels is just plain nuts. The prices of gasoline and Diesel have increased substantially in the last few years and this has not resulted in a decline in consumption.

I am outraged that Gordon and Carol want to tax me for
heating water and my house. The very dangerous SFU Prof. Marc Jaccard believes that he can change our behaviour by whacking us with taxes. This does not work for booze and won't work for gasoline, Diesel and jet fuel, the Fuels of Freedom.

Climate Change? What climate change? In your brief lifetime have you experienced any climate change?
Has the pattern of weather at your locality really changed much in the last 20 years?

And while you're at it, ask the folks living in Nunavut, the Yukon & NWT.

Fern Mackenzie

Given the fact that by far the largest part of the economy in those places are mining and natural gas, my guess would be the answer to your question would be a raised middle finger.

Hello Fern!

Any climate change where you live? Diamomd miners greatly benefit from warmer NWT. I wonder how Debeers et al are warming the Arctic. Maybe they have hired the HAARP guys to zap the Arctic.

I have been noticing changes in the climate where I live (Ottawa area) for decades, but as these observations are non-statistical they are about as relevant as Rob raving about -40C for a few days in January. What IS being monitored and carefully researched is the increasing melt of the permafrost up north, shifting foundations and roadbeds and releasing methane into the atmosphere (oh goodie! more GHG's!). Northern migration of insects, interruption of migration patterns, all kinds of things that have implications for the long-term viability of the northern way of life have been happening for many years, or haven't you been reading? Not everybody up there makes a living in oil & diamonds, you know.

Fern Mackenzie

"Not everybody up there makes a living in oil & diamonds, you know."

And smug, urban liberals like you would just love to keep it that way. The natives are so much more picturesque when they are living in igloos and spearing fish out on the pack ice. If necessary, you'll provide them with just enough welfare to keep 'em drunk and high on drugs -- which is much more preferable to participating in the nasty white man's evil corporate economy.

Does your own ignorant sanctimony never make you physically ill? How do you do it?

If you mean have I ever been banned from a reserve, no.
Your remarks display even more ignorance than usual. Not worth addressing your "points".

Fern Mackenzie

Rob the racist.

Speaking of technicalities, here's a little nit (which has been sort of touched on, but might use some highlighting):

The Friends of Earth's lawsuit was not about the non-compliance of the Kyoto Protocol, but the non-compliance of Bill C-288 (http://tinyurl.com/37zwd6), which as far as I can see doesn't require the Kyoto penalties to be "legally binding" before it itself has any force.

Technicalities are fun, let's play with them.

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Frank Bi, fact-addict and anti-lie bigot

"Al `Fat Al' Gore [is fat]" -- Harold Pierce

Change your tagline to "Don Al Gore is fat".

BTW, I read an article in a Toronto newspaper that quoted a worker of the snow removal crew who said that the some snow piles are so huge that they might not melt before the start of next winter. The Ice Age has cometh!

Oh, so Bill C-288 is null and void because one worker has trouble removing snow. Who woulda thunk?

And Harold, is William Connolley fat?

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Frank Bi, fact-addict and anti-lie bigot

"Al `Fat Al' Gore [is fat]" -- Harold Pierce

The Liberals foolishly and naively committed to Kyoto Accord before consulting with the engineers, the Salt of the Earth. If they had asked the engineers for their assesment on the technical feasibilty of meeting the GHG reduction targets, they would have said, "Where have you guys been for the last 30 years? Obviously, out to a very long lunch!

They will tell the politicians that the oil embargoes of the early 1970's were the world-wide wake up call on all aspects of energy aquisition and utilization and that by the 1990's we had eliminated all inefficient and wasteful usage of energy in industry, commerce and in just about everything else of newer manufacture. In short we have maxed out the efficient use of energy in most all sectors of the economy.

The hopelessly and perpetually clueless Friends of the Earth should keep their stupid mouths shut, go back to university, become engineers, and then comeback and show us dumb and stupid folks how to meet the targets of the Kyoto Accord without all of us freezing and starving to death in the wintertime.

Of course they never gripe about gold, silver and diamonds mines, the greatest energy gluttons on the planet.

"The Liberals foolishly and naively committed to Kyoto Accord before consulting with the engineers, the Salt of the Earth."

HAHAHAHAHA! That'll explain why, even though Bill C-288 was assented to on June 22, 2007, the patriotic Tories just had to quietly drag their feet for half a year and hope nobody would notice...

...and then when Friends of the Earth comes out with a lawsuit they suddenly remember what was wrong with the bill all along!

What's the next lame "technicality" that you guys will come up with?

And tell me, Harold, is William Connolley fat?

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Frank Bi, fact-addict and anti-lie bigot

"Al `Fat Al' Gore [is fat]" -- Harold Pierce

Who is out to lunch here?
We load up ships here in North America with raw materials such as iron ore, scrap metal, nickel ingots etc, etc; send them to China where these materials are turned into finished goods; put back in ships and sent back to North America. All to take advantage of the cheap labour cost in China. These ships don't run on air....
Just-in-time delivery is another example of waste.
A large number of those big trucks pounding up and down our highways are only partly loaded. They only carry enough to keep production lines running for 1 day, sometimes only 1 shift. It takes fuel to haul empty space.
You do have a valid point about gold and diamonds. Both products have uses in industry, but for the most part those huge open pit mines are just for human vanity.

"Who is out to lunch here?"

But, Tom, this is Harold Pierce we're talking about! Harold, who just argued that Bill C-288 is null and void because one worker has trouble removing snow...

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Frank Bi, fact-addict and anti-lie bigot

"Al `Fat Al' Gore [is fat]" -- Harold Pierce

If you think energy usage is grossly inefficient, then you go out to an iron smelter and show the engineers how to improve efficiency. And on you away to the iron smelter, you can stop by a metal casting plant where
V-8 engine blocks are cast, a foundry where wheels for rail cars are forged, a glass factory, a brick factory, a large industial bakery where Twinkies are made and show sll the dumb engineers how to improve the efficiency of energy use.

When a really big cruise ship docks in Vancouver, you just run down there and show the engineers how they are wasting energy. Of course the new super C class ferries, designed and built by Germans, are the most inefficient boats ever built. Go down to Renton and show the Boeing engineers how to improve the fuel economy of their jet planes.

BTW, don't mess with the Twinkie or the Doritos factories.

I gave you just 2 examples of inefficent fuel usage in the transportation industry and you dodge it and go right for the Twinkies and iron foundries.
No where did I say engineers are dumb; but the best engineers can build the best possible equipment and it would be all wasted with dumb usage.

Oh and Harold? You don't forge wheels at a foundry.

"Just-in-time delivery is another example of waste."

Yes, of course, Tom. That's why that system was developed -- to create maximum waste. Because, as anyone with an MBA can tell you, the best way to maximize profit, is to be as wasteful as possible. Only a subtle mind like yours could uncover that secret.

"A large number of those big trucks pounding up and down our highways are only partly loaded. They only carry enough to keep production lines running for 1 day, sometimes only 1 shift. It takes fuel to haul empty space."

Uh-oh, Tom is on to us! Little does he know most of these trucks are actually completely empty! See? Another brilliant scheme to increase the profits of evil coporations.

"You do have a valid point about gold and diamonds. Both products have uses in industry, but for the most part those huge open pit mines are just for human vanity."

Yeah, unlike Tom's postings on the Internet, which educate us from his wealth of knowledge of modern commerce and industrial logistics.

rob:

"That's why that system was developed -- to create maximum waste."

Hahahahahahahahaha!

Oh, and I thought Harold just said the "system" has "eliminated all inefficient and wasteful usage of energy"!

Yet anther genius argument along the lines of "global warming stopped in 1998, and it stopped in 2007". Denialism means never having to get your story straight.

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rob, is Naomi Oreskes fat?

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Frank Bi, fact-addict and anti-lie bigot

"Al `Fat Al' Gore [is fat]" -- Harold Pierce

It's that "wealth of knowledge" item...
After not quite 39 years in the industry, I think I've learned a bit about it....

"After not quite 39 years in the industry, I think I've learned a bit about it...."

Heh, you're telling me!

The "knowledge" of the "skeptical" "PhDs" somehow never get beyond regurgitated denialist talking points.

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Frank Bi, fact-addict and anti-lie bigot

"Al `Fat Al' Gore [is fat]" -- Harold Pierce

“Politicians Live in Fantasy Land.”

As does Herald Pierce if he thinks we have eliminated all inefficient and wasteful usage of energy in industry, commerce and in just about everything else of newer manufacture, or that FOE never gripes about gold, silver and diamonds mines.

But hey, never let reality get in the way of expressing a perfectly ignorant opinion.

Just wondering. Have any of you true believers ever done the math on Canada's CO2 Contribution and cut?
Well here is what you really don't want to know.
Canada contributes less than 2% of global man made CO2.
Kyoto would requirs us to cut 35% of that. (approx)
35% of 2% is .7 of the total.
China will make that up in the next two months.
Kyoto would hurt our economy in very real ways.
All to make a completely useless and uneffective political statement.
Now really, who is dumb here?

Besides, the latest science is showing that CO2 had very little do with the little warm period at the end of the last century.

Read! And Al Gore is indeed fat.

Troll:

"Canada contributes less than 2% of global man made CO2."

And denialists contribute more than 99.9910536453323436458% of the unsourced bogus statistics in the global warming "debate".

"Kyoto would hurt our economy in very real ways."

Uh-oh, and I thought we were the ones employing scare tactics. What's the next lame reason for the Canadian government flouting Bill C-288?

By the way, is Naomi Oreskes fat?

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Frank Bi, fact-addict and anti-lie bigot

"Al `Fat Al' Gore [is fat]" -- Harold Pierce

So..... What mystical number do you put on Canada's contribution?

The one I quoted is the internationally acpted one.

Perhaps since this is an AGW propoganda site, you have your own numbers?

50% 90% 120% would sound really scarry.

LOL

"The one I quoted is the internationally acpted [sic] one."

Where's the international "acptance" of your numbers? I'm not seeing it. Where exactly did you get your numbers from? Maybe your numbers were "acpted" by 99.9999439389651748357% of the international scientific community?

And where do you get off predicting economic doom and gloom anyway?

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By the way, Troll, is Naomi Oreskes fat?

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Frank Bi, fact-addict and anti-lie bigot

"Al `Fat Al' Gore [is fat]" -- Harold Pierce

Here you go. Took me less than 30 seconds to find BTW.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_carbon_dioxide_emissions

So... Just how much did you think our contribtion was?

This is really an excellant example of how the constant BS being spouted by the propogandists is effecting the Sheeple of Canada.
It is little wonder so many believe in Kyoto, They know nothing about what they are talking about.

Read people read!!!!!!
Don't accept the crap you hear in the MSM.

Whether it is 2.3% or 23%, the onus is on Canada and other developed countries to provide leadership in this. Apart from anything else, we have no moral authority to insist that the big emitters cut down if we are not prepared to do anything ourselves.

Furthermore, we Canadians are pretty clever folk. If we get in at the ground floor developing clean technologies, we can create jobs, and sell the technology to the rest of the world -- thereby by-passing the economic doom you so gleefully predict.

Fern Mackenzie

So you agree then that kyoto is just a political statement.

As for clean energy, no aguement there.
Always a good idea.

Just dont try to trick people into it with lies and propoganda like kyoto and CO2 causing the world to end.
Yelling FIRE in a theater is wrong no matter how you slice it.
Be honest and just say you want to change the way society generates its energy.
Of course that wont go over well with scocialists. They just want to control everything.

"Of course that wont go over well with scocialists. They just want to control everything."

Quick, Troll! Call us fat! And call us fascists!

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Frank Bi, fact-addict and anti-lie bigot

"Al `Fat Al' Gore [is fat]" -- Harold Pierce

"Whether it is 2.3% or 23%, the onus is on Canada and other developed countries to provide leadership in this."

No idea how you come to that conclusion.

"Apart from anything else, we have no moral authority to insist that the big emitters cut down if we are not prepared to do anything ourselves."

Ah, so now we get to the truth. Kyoto is really just a morality campaign, like zealous missionaries stamping out the evils of liqour and dancing. You seek to sermonize to the heathen Asians, so that they may find their reward in the hereafter, like you. Good luck with that:
http://tinyurl.com/2sa7o8
http://tinyurl.com/38avut

"Furthermore, we Canadians are pretty clever folk. If we get in at the ground floor developing clean technologies, we can create jobs, and sell the technology to the rest of the world -- thereby by-passing the economic doom you so gleefully predict."

Well, nobody is stopping you. Why should my forced participation as a taxpayer be necessary? Surely, if there is a market demand for this miracle technology, which will supposedly replace fossil fuels as an energy source, it would be developed. Even though dylithium crystals have existed for years on Star Trek, strangely, nobody seems to be interested in inventing really expensive forms of inadequate energy in the real world.

But I assume your belief that governments can magically will these things into existence shouldn't be surprising, given your faith in the government's ability to control the weather.

Yes, once that happens, I'm sure the Chinese will fall all over themselves to pay whatever we demand for windmills and solar panels, because it just makes sense.

rob:

"Surely, if there is a market demand for this miracle technology, which will supposedly replace fossil fuels as an energy source, it would be developed."

Do rob and Harold Pierce both have a brain disorder which prevents them from grasping the concept of "energy diversification"?

These idiots keep trying to sell the idea that we should find the One True Energy Source which'll replace all of oil, coal, solar power, wind power, etc. etc. etc. overnight.

And before we find this One True Energy Source, we must Do Absolutely Nothing.

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And rob, is Naomi Oreskes fat?

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Frank Bi, fact-addict and anti-lie bigot

"Al `Fat Al' Gore [is fat]" -- Harold Pierce

On a related note: while the denialists predict economic gloom and doom, the US EPA quietly releases a report on the projected ramifications of the Lieberman-Warner Act, which involves cutting emissions to 50% of 1990 levels by 2050:

http://gristmill.grist.org/story/2008/3/14/165235/227

"Here's the short version: assuming advanced energy technologies hit the market fast, America's economy will grow 80 percent by 2030. If we don't cap carbon emissions, America's economy will grow 81 percent by 2030."

I guess it does spells doom and gloom all right... for denialist shills and their paymasters who refuse to adapt to the green economy.

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Frank Bi, fact-addict and anti-lie bigot

"Al `Fat Al' Gore [is fat]" -- Harold Pierce

Garbage + Garbage = garbage.
LOL

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