In exchange for passing the Canadian Conservative government's budget, the Senate passed a bill that will effectively force Canada to meet it's emission targets under the Kyoto Accord.
Pablo Rodriguez, the Liberal member of parliament who introduced the bill last March, stated earlier this year that: “It means that the government has no choice but to act and meet our Kyoto obligations.”
The Kyoto Protocol Implementation Act stipulates that the government now has two months to come up with a blueprint for how it will meet its commitments under Kyoto and within 180 days, the government must bring in regulations to “ensure that Canada fully meets its obligations” under the protocol.
From the beginning the Harper government has been fighting this bill, with Environment Minister John Baird at one point stating that if C-288 [the Kyoto Bill] became law, every Canadian family, business and industry would have to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions by one-third starting in just eight month, and “There is only one way to make this happen, the government would need to manufacture a recession.”
Earlier this year the Intergovernment Panel on Climate Change reported that the cost of significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions worlwide would be about .12% of the world's GDP, or in other words, about $10 per human currently inhabiting the earth. Using these numbers, it would mean that Canada, with an annual GDP of roughly $1.1 trillion and a population of 33 million, would need to invest about $40 per citizen, or $1.3 billion annually.
Politically, there is no issue of more concern than climate change, and now it seems that the Conservative government will have no choice but to show true national leadership and implement real plans with concrete targets.