Will Canada Continue to Fail on Climate at International Talks in Poland?

Mon, 2013-11-11 11:15Kevin Grandia
Kevin Grandia's picture

Will Canada Continue to Fail on Climate at International Talks in Poland?

oilsands pollution in Canada

With another round of international climate negotiations opening this week in Warsaw, Poland, and a new poll finding Canadians wanting leadership on the issue, Prime Minister Stephen Harper and his Conservative government have an opportunity to turn the tides on what has been so far a policy trend in the wrong direction.

Since taking the helm, the majority Harper government has floundered at United Nations climate events, relegating Canada to perpetual fossil of the day and year awards.

As someone who has been working in and around these international climate talks and other such global negotiations for many years now, I have witnessed first hand Canada's fall from grace. Our small country (population-wise) has historically hit well above its weight in many international forums, with a reputation for neutrality and expert diplomacy. Now, we are called a “petrostate” and a “climate obstructionist” at such talks. 

Canada has previously been a international leader on global efforts to battle environmental issues. Former Progressive Conservative Prime Minister Brian Mulroney was an outspoken global leader on reducing Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) in the atmosphere and his leadership culminated in the Montreal Accord that saw 191 countries agree to phasing out ozone depleting chemicals.

Under Jean Chretien and the Liberals Canada was one of the first countries to sign on to the Kyoto Protocol to reduce global climate change pollution, with many countries following our lead. Canada's lack of performance, and in many cases outright opposition to deals on climate change, is not only being noticed by the international community, it is also starting to be noticed at home.

A poll out late last week finds that a large majority - almost 60 percent - of Canadians agree that climate change should be a top issue for the Harper government. A whopping 76 percent say that Canada should sign on to a new international agreement to limit greenhouse gas emissions.

Beyond the evidence of the poll, a cross-country day of events planned for Canada called “Defend our Climate, Defend our Communities” suggests the country's lack of climate leadership is having its effect on the street level. 

Everyday people are hoping to rejuvenate Canada's international reputation on the issue of climate change.

And the need for this has never been more urgent as more and more extreme weather events make headlines across the globe. The atmospheric disruption and extreme weather scientists talked about almost 20 years ago when Canada signed on to the Kyoto Protocol is now “the new normal.”

With climate talks starting this week and next in Warsaw, Harper and his new environment minister, Leona Aglukaqq, have an opportunity to redeem Canada's reputation. Not only would this start the country on the right path when it comes to climate change, but according to public opinion polls, a strong stance on climate by Harper would be good politics.

So what's stopping him?

Image Credit: Kris Krug via Flickr

Previous Comments

Environmental concerns are even more interesting when its Conservatives telling you;

http://thetyee.ca/News/2013/03/11/Manning-Conference/

Preston Manning: “Conservatives are generally considered, and this by our friends, to be weak or disinterested on the environment – the issue of greatest concern to many of our children and grandchildren.”

Preston Manning: “Whether it's fair or not, the bad news is that this perceived deficiency on the environmental front has become a political and economic liability.”

“Preserving the environment in Canada,” goes the poll question, “should be a higher priority than the expansion of our petroleum sector.” Seventy-six per cent of respondents agree.

I can only conclude that lobbiests are controlling our government at this time.  Christy Clark was at the Petroleum Club in Calgary topping up her finances just before her election victory.  Justin Trudeau was recently doing the same.

Well then the 'lobbyists' must be controlling the Aussie government as well. They sent this message in a mission statement to the Warsaw UNFCCC;

Australia says “No” to UN wish list of billions – will “not support socialism masquerading as environmentalism”. (Their exact words)
 
“The UN wants $100 billion from wealthier countries (about $2.4 billion from Australians or $100 a person). The Australian government has produced a position statement for the Warsaw UNFCCC conference. It is unusually brutal. I don’t think I remember seeing the phrase about socialism “masquerading as environmentalism” in an official statement before. (I’m sure readers will correct me). It’s good to see some recognition that the science has become less clear, and that it may become more so.
Essentially, the new Australian government ‘s message to the UN is: “we are reducing CO2, but we’re not giving you a cent. Furthermore, if the science becomes muddier, we might drop it. We don’t think this UN meeting is remotely important and we have better things to do. And when it comes to wealth transfer through the UN the answer is No. Thank. You.”
 

It's great to see someone officially saying “NO” to the UN and it's wealth transfer program! Other countries are ignoring the b.s. “Climate Fund” but they don't yet have the guts to actually say it outright.

Funny you should mention Jo Nova.  Did you see the youtube video of Monkton explaining to Gina Rinhart to how to either start a TV station or control news media? Gina later went on to do this in Australia, and now dominates all news regarding Climate Change. Jo was also concerned that they should be directing people to her site to crank up hits on her version of Climate Change misinformation.

And just check out her education!  She knows nothing!  You'd get more useful information from a hair stylist.

For or what it's worth, being conservative myself I don't support hand outs or carbon trading. I'm in favour of Carbon Tax and letting the free market sort things out.

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