kyoto protocol

Sat, 2013-02-16 08:00Guest
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The Credibility Gap: All Talk and Not Much Action on Climate Change

By Hannah McKinnon, National Program Manager at Environmental Defense.

In last week's State of the Union address, President Obama reiterated his vision for clean energy and urgent action on global warming. With TransCanada’s Keystone XL tar sands pipeline on the frontlines and looking threatened, oil industry supporters are suddenly desperate to look like the environmental and climate risks of the tar sands are under control.
 
But there’s a massive credibility gap as Canada’s contribution to global warming is spiralling out of control, with the reckless expansion of the tar sands.
 
We’ve always believed that actions speak louder than words. So while the oil industry and government embark on a pro-tar sands PR campaign, let’s look at how Canada has behaved on climate action and the environmental risks of the tar sands.  

Mon, 2011-12-12 14:52Brendan DeMelle
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BREAKING: Canada Pulls Out of Kyoto Protocol

Canada is pulling out of the Kyoto Protocol, the cornerstone of international climate negotiations, in the wake of the failed COP17 climate talks in Durban. Canadian Environment Minister Peter Kent announced Canada's bail-out of Kyoto as he returned from Durban.

The Kyoto Protocol was ratified by Canada in 2002, when the agreement became legally binding. Canada's decision to turn its back on its international obligations confirms yet again that Stephen Harper and his carbon cronies are securing a hellish future for generations to come.  Canada's 'leaders' are brashly choosing pollution-based profiteering over public health and cooking the climate to make a killing in the tar sands. 

BBC reports: 

Peter Kent said the protocol “does not represent a way forward for Canada” and would have forced it to take “radical and irresponsible choices”.

The move, which is legal and was expected, makes it the first nation to pull out of the global treaty.  …

“Kyoto, for Canada, is in the past, and as such we are invoking our legal right to withdraw from Kyoto,” Mr Kent said in Toronto.

CBC has details on Kent's timing, as well as a news poll showing 62% disapproval of the decision (as of 3pm PST) on CBC's Inside Politics Blog: 

Kent returned to Ottawa from Durban Monday afternoon and made the announcement about two hours after landing.

He said he waited to formally pull out of the Kyoto Protocol because he'd promised a top UN official in Durban not to distract from the talks.

Greenpeace Canada climate and energy campaigner, Mike Hudema, reacts:

“The Harper government has imposed a death sentence on many of the world's most vulnerable populations by pulling out of Kyoto. The decision to leave Kyoto behind destabilizes the promise of action on the climate crisis. This is a further signal that the Harper government is more concerned about protecting polluters than people.”

Thu, 2011-12-08 12:37Guest
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Will Durban Climate Talks Leave Us On the Wrong Side of History?

Guest post by Heather Libby of TckTckTck.org, originally published on Huffington Post.

Whatever happens, the next 48 hours will change the world.

The Durban climate negotiations dance on a wire. Sway but a little, and everything falls.

For the past ten days scientists, politicians, faith leaders, health leaders, artists and unions have formed an urgent choir calling on the negotiators to act. Our partners in the TckTckTck alliance have sung, danced, protested and marched. In solidarity, 400,000 (and counting) people worldwide have signed the latest Avaaz call to action urging the European Union, Brazil and China to take these negotiations forward.

And yet, here we are. Not much further than we started last week.

Over the past few days, I've traveled to speak to people directly affected by climate change. I’ve visited both the OccupyCOP17 assembly and the Kennedy Road informal settlement (home of the Abahlali baseMjondolo shack dwellers movement).

The faces of climate change do not take shuttle buses from pristine hotels. They do not sit in air-conditioned plenary rooms and eat catered food. As you can see in this video, their reality is much different.

Wed, 2011-12-07 16:27Guest
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U.S. 2020 climate treaty proposal isn’t a delay—it’s a death sentence

Ed note: Originally published by our friends at Grist.org.

by Jamie Henn of 350.org
 
The U.N. climate talks desperately need a crisis. For the last 10 days, negotiations here in Durban, South Africa, have made little progress on the fundamental challenge these talks were set up to confront: how the world can come together to avoid catastrophic climate change.
 
Instead, the pace of negotiations has been set by the one country the rest of the world should be turning their back on: the United States.
 
The U.S. never signed the Kyoto Protocol, the only legally binding international agreement designed to reduce emissions, but it is allowed to take part in the negotiations in a separate track dedicated to securing a long-term climate agreement. After President Obama's election, the international community had high hopes the new administration would bring a new sense of ambition and commitment to talks.
 
Instead, the only thing the U.S. brought to the table was a wrecking ball. Rather than standing out of the way and letting the rest of the world get on with setting up an international architecture to facilitate cutting emissions, stopping deforestation, and investing in renewable energy, the U.S. has spent the years since Copenhagen attempting to systemically dismantle the U.N. process.
 
Highest on the U.S. hit list is the Kyoto Protocol, an imperfect treaty (thanks in large part to U.S. recalcitrance), but currently the best instrument in the global climate toolbox. Next on the list is the very idea of legally binding commitments – the U.S. would prefer a “pledge and review” world where countries make their own voluntary commitments and then report out on what they've decided.
 
Here in Durban, however, the U.S. has taken on an even more insidious role by pushing a proposal that the international community adopt a “mandate” to negotiate a new climate treaty that will take effect in – wait for it – 2020.
Tue, 2011-10-04 13:43Brendan DeMelle
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Government Watchdog Report Confirms Canada's Failures on Tar Sands Monitoring and Climate Action

 

Canada's top environmental watchdog official released a damning report today acknowledging the federal government's complete failure to account for the cumulative impacts of Alberta tar sands development. The report from Environment Commissioner Scott Vaughan also confirmed that information about Canada's greenhouse gas emissions is so poorly collected that the country really has no idea whether it is on track to meet its pollution reduction targets - targets which Canada has repeatedly scaled back despite its legally-binding international commitment to action dating back 20 years. 
 
According to the report, “The government has not put in place management systems and tools needed to achieve, measure and report on greenhouse gas emission reductions.” 
 
Vaughan describes the government's current climate action plan as “disjointed, confused, non-transparent.”
“I think it's next to impossible that Canada is going to be able to reach its Kyoto target, that's a given. The gap is so wide now, but I think what we've said as well is the basic problems that we've seen now, and the overall federal-wide co-ordinaton of these climate change programs really needs to get its act together. And if they don't, then we have some doubts on whether or not they are going to be able to meet any target, Vaughan said at a news conference today.
The report also slammed Canada's oversight of the filthy Alberta tar sands industry. By failing to collect baseline data prior to the industrialization of the area - and then adding insult to injury by failing to conduct regular monitoring of impacts from tar sands development - Canada has dropped the ball on its responsibilities to protect the health of local communities and the environment in northern Alberta and beyond. 
Tue, 2010-05-25 17:56Brendan DeMelle
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UN Chief Urges Industrialized Nations to Release Promised Funds To Poor Nations For Climate Change Aid

Outgoing United Nations climate chief Yvo de Boer sent an urgent message to wealthy industrialized nations on Tuesday reminding them about previous promises to help the world’s poorer nations to adapt to a changing world due to global warming.  Without a firm show of funds, he said the pursuit of a global climate agreement would remain a question mark for many as the December COP-16 talks in Cancun grow closer.

de Boer urged the industrialized nations to quickly present the $30 billion in aid they have pledged to deliver over the 2010-2012 period to help poor nations fight climate change impacts such as increasingly severe droughts and floods.

“Times are harsh, especially in Europe, but $10 billion a year for three years from all industrialized countries is not an impossible call,” he said.

Mon, 2009-10-12 20:20Richard Littlemore
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Canada: Criminal NegliGENTS are us.

Canada’s ongoing campaign to undermine international climate change negotiations seems to be right on track. In its most recent success, the country was able to drive the accumulated representatives of most of the developing world out of the room in Bangkok, so offensive is the Canadian negotiating position.

As CTV reports here, Canada is bent on ripping up the Kyoto Protocol, perhaps incorporating elements of the beleaguered agreement into some watered down planet-wasting alternative that will allow Canada to continue to commit itself to a dying (and deadly) resource.

Canadian Environment Minister Jim Prentice makes periodic noises to suggest that he knows what climate change is and that he has some flickering conscience. Then he leads the international assault on the single agreement that has some hope of counteracting the threat. It’s time that Canadian travellers started buying U.S. flags to sew on their backpacks. It’s too embarrassing to be recognized outside the country as Canadian.

Fri, 2007-12-07 11:56Ross Gelbspan
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Congressmen to UN: Don't blame us -- We just live here!

The US might have earned global ire for refusing to ratify the Kyoto Protocol, but not every American is a climate villain, U.S. lawmakers say. Rep. Edward J. Markey and 10 House committee chairmen, in a letter to the U.N., highlighted what they said was the willingness of the U.S. Congress and voters to act against a policy of delay adopted by the administration of George W. Bush.

…[T]he world must know that President Bush's avoidance of action is not the status quo here in America,” said Markey, Chairman of the House Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming.”

Thu, 2007-12-06 11:59Bill Miller
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Business mouthpiece casts wide net in latest bid to derail climate-change efforts

True to form, the Wall Street Journal has slammed former Vice President and Nobel Prize winner Al Gore and tried to discredit the science arguing the case for global warming. In so doing, the pro-business bastion appears to be as far out of step with the forces driving the U.S. economy as the Bush Administration is with the majority of the U.S. electorate.

The crux of the Journal’s argument is contained in a question: “What if everyone believes in global warmism only because everyone believes in global warmism?” Here’s a better question: What if they’re right?

Thu, 2007-11-22 07:40Kevin Grandia
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Australia Set to Become a Global Warming Leader With Howard's Expected Election Defeat

Three days ahead of an Australian general election, front-running Labor leader, Kevin Rudd has committed to immediately signing the Kyoto Protocol on global warming, describing it as the “number one” priority.

Australian's have been experiencing first hand the effects of a warmer planet with massive drought. Instead of taking a leadership role on the issue, soon-to-be former Prime Minister John Howard ducked the  Kyoto Protocol and only acknowledged the threat of climate change when it appeared to be the politically expedient thing to do.  

Looks like the Australian citizenry easily saw through Howard's ruse, the latest polls show Rudd is set to win with 54 per cent of the vote compared to Mr Howard's 46 per cent.

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