Canadian Senate passes Kyoto bill forcing PM Harper's hand

Fri, 2007-06-22 10:56Kevin Grandia
Kevin Grandia's picture

Canadian Senate passes Kyoto bill forcing PM Harper's hand

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.

 

Previous Comments

This bill had no money attached to it so there are no funds to do the work it demands. This means Harper can simply ignore it, which he has already indicated he will. This was just a bit of political theatre to try and embarass the government.

Not a lot of funds are actually needed to do this. What is needed is personal and political will. There certainly doesn’t seem to be much of the latter these days.

No money attached to the bill, doesn't mean it can't happen - legislation cannot be ignored, especially in a minority government situation.

Climate change is the number one issue in Canada – this is democracy at work John, the people are demanding action and if the Harper government continues to pussyfoot it will be at their own political peril.

Don’t you wonder about this new-found Liberal love for Kyoto, Kevin? This is a party that only paid lip service to Kyoto and its requirements while they held power but suddenly, in Opposition, they want everything done yesterday. As I said it is political theatre and the Canadian people are smart enough to see what the Liberals are doing and why. Well, most Canadians.

Oh please. The budget of 2005 set aside funds for green programs, such as the successful EnerGuide program which the Conservatives canned, and would have set events in motion to meet the greenhouse gas emission cuts by 2012.

What happened the next year? The Conservatives came into office and scrapped every program that the Liberals created to meet the goals of Kyoto. The Conservatives never wanted to meet the emissions reductions of Kyoto.

==Stephen says:==
“Oh please. The budget of 2005 set aside funds for green programs, such as the successful EnerGuide program which the Conservatives canned, and would have set events in motion to meet the greenhouse gas emission cuts by 2012.”
====================

Yeah right. The Libs set nothing in motion to attain the 2012 Kyoto targets.

The fact of the matter is, there isn’t enough will among Canadians to seriously attempt to reduce our C02 emissions at present.

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They also promised to fund AIDS research and treatment, but barely did, so AIDS does not exist?

They also promised to address child poverty and in fact general poverty in the developing world, but barely did, so this means poverty is a hoax?

If a political party pays lip service to a topic, and then when in opposition rediscovers the need, this “new-found love”, to put it in the smarmy description above, implies nothing about the topic itself. Zero logic. This is obvious - should be - sorry to waste lines on it. etc.

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Desmog’s favourite bete noirs at the NRSP have an interesting take on how Canada can comply with the Kyoto Accord. Withdraw.

On their web site, NRSP points out that the Accord contains a clause that lets signatories withdraw on one year’s notice. Therefore, you can get out of this folly while still observing the provisions of the Accord.

Do you remember when the Liberals ratified and media outlets and commentators reacted in horror? They said the Liberals had killed our prosperity. They then rewound the tape and played it again when Russia ratified. Meanwhile, various enviros complained that the Accord didn’t go far enough and had no teeth. I haven’t checked the NRSP, but your comment indicates to me that they’re admitting that the anti-Kyoto side has been crying wolf all along. Duh.