Saturday, November 7, 2009

Stephen Harper's Canada target of scorn and derision at Barcelona climate talks

After a week of pathetic and embarrassing non-action at climate talks in Barcelona, pretty much full disengagement, and an altogether counter-productive approach, Canada has swept the awards for being the most destructive country on Earth towards the environment.

On the final day of the conference in Barcelona, Canada was awarded the Fossil of the Day and the Fossil of the Week awards by the Climate Action Network, a worldwide network of 450 non-governmental organizations based in Washington D.C., working to "limit human-induced climate change to ecologically sustainable levels".

The main objective of all these talks, and the upcoming talks in Copenhagen, is to arrive at a binding number that all countries will agree to, to represent the reduction in greenhouse gas emissions relative to 1990 levels.

As of now, it appears that a worldwide aggregate number of 11-15% reduction by developed nations on 1990 might be achievable. Most poor countries and emerging economies are saying that this number is far too low and needs to be at 40.

Europe, meanwhile is pushing for targets in the range of 20-30%.

Canada is presently sticking to a laughable 3% reduction, saying even that will cause significant restructuring difficulty. On top of that, Canada is trying to use a loophole in previous wording that would allow us to peg our reductions based on estimates of future emissions.

Canada's negotiating position has always been to use the facts that we are a thinly populated, northern country of large distances to justify our "difficulty" in reducing levels of emissions.

In Barcelona we have been exposed BIG TIME by Norway, a country every bit as far north and thinly populated as Canada. At these talks, Norway has stepped up and raised its commitment from a 30% reduction to 40%. Norway, incidentally, is the top oil producer in Europe and one of the top 6 net oil exporters in the world as of 2008.

Stephen Harper has proven completely incapable of financial management. Blowing a $13 billion Liberal surplus almost overnight and plowing the country into (who knows?) a $50 billion deficit situation in a matter of months. Tossing out seemingly random economic projections and interim budgets along the way.

Now, Harper is on the way to destroying Canada's accumulated international good will capital that has been carefully nurtured over the past 90-100 years.

As his mentor, George W. Bush did in the U.S., Harper is doing everything he possibly can to bring the scorn of the world down on Canada. We cannot allow this to continue.

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