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Thread: Globe: Canada climate hypocrite; "most uncooperative" nation at Bali

  1. Default Globe: Canada climate hypocrite; "most uncooperative" nation at Bali

    Canada climate hypocrite, UN envoy suggests
    Globe and Mail Update
    December 10, 2007 at 10:50 AM EST
    NUSA DUA, Indonesia — Canada is under mounting attack at the Bali climate-change conference, putting it on the defensive as the conference begins its final week of negotiations.

    Yvo de Boer, head of the United Nations climate-change agency, said Canada seems to be hypocritical in what it demands from other countries.

    "I personally find it interesting to hear Canada just a little while ago indicating it would not meet its commitments under the Kyoto protocol and now calling on developing countries to take binding reduction targets," he told a press conference today at the Bali climate-change conference.

    "So I wonder how that's going to be received," he added.

    The latest criticism of Canada's position is coming from respected scientists and from fellow negotiators at the conference.

    Rajendra Pachauri, head of the climate science panel that was awarded a Nobel Peace Prize today, has blasted the Harper government for its climate stance.

    "This particular government has been a government of skeptics," said Mr. Pachauri, chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which shared the Nobel Prize with Al Gore.

    "They do not want to do anything on climate change," he added in a published interview in New Delhi.

    Su Wei, a senior Chinese delegate at the Bali negotiations, said Canada and Japan are emerging as the most uncooperative nations at the climate talks. In an interview with the Financial Times on the weekend, the Chinese negotiator said Canada was particularly uncooperative in its opposition to binding commitments to force industrialized nations to cut their emissions.

    The governments of Ontario and Quebec, meanwhile, are trying to dissociate themselves from the Harper government. At the Bali conference today, Ontario environment minister John Gerretsen and Quebec environment minister Line Beauchamp insisted that the Harper government does not speak for their provinces — and they will spread that message to other countries at the Bali negotiations.

    Other countries have "realized that the Canadian position, as formulated by the federal government, is not necessarily endorsed by the people of Ontario," Mr. Gerretsen told reporters.

    Federal environment minister John Baird, asked about the criticism by the UN climate chief, was quick to blame the previous Liberal government. He said he agreed "unequivocally" with Mr. de Boer's criticism of the Canadian record. "Canada has talked the talk but it hasn't walked the walk," Mr. Baird said .

    "That's why we'll be judged by the actions we take, not be the promises and commitments that we make…. I can appreciate, when people look at the statistics, the huge increase that we've seen, it's natural that they're skeptical."

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    Canada assailed from all sides for its stance at Bali climate talks
    46 minutes ago
    BALI, Indonesia - The Canadian government was pounded with criticism from every quarter at the UN climate talks as the summit chief and provincial members of its own delegation joined environmentalists, foreign negotiators and leading scientists in a chorus of condemnation.
    They attacked Canada's plan to reject any future climate treaty unless it sets emissions targets for all major polluters.
    Environment Minister John Baird held firm Monday to his view that any successor treaty to the Kyoto Protocol can only work if it sets binding conditions on countries including the United States, China, and India.
    With none of those countries agreeing to accept targets, environmentalists and opposition parties have been accusing Canada's Conservative government of poisoning the climate talks in Bali.
    Their legion of critics grew louder Monday.
    The UN climate chief all but accused Canada of being an environmental hypocrite.
    Yvo de Boer wondered how a rich country like Canada could abandon its own targets under Kyoto, then demand that developing ones like China and India adopt obligations.
    "I personally find it interesting," de Boer told a news conference, "to hear Canada, just a little while ago, indicating it would not meet its commitments under the Kyoto protocol, and now calling on developing countries to take binding reduction targets ..."
    "I wonder how that's going to be received."
    The criticism also came from the Canadian government's own backyard. Cabinet ministers from two of Canada's largest provinces arrived at the summit and repudiated the bargaining position of their national government.
    Quebec's Line Beauchamp and Ontario's John Gerretsen made it clear that Ottawa does not speak for the two provinces, which together represent almost two-thirds of the Canadian population.
    They urged Ottawa to take on what they call Canada's historic leadership role and set an example for others.
    "If the U.S. is not willing to sign on, does that mean nobody should sign on?" Gerretsen asked rhetorically, with Beauchamp by his side at a news conference.
    "We don't like this attitude."
    Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty chimed in from Toronto.
    "I think it's a tiresome debate for us as Canadians to be saying, 'You know, the Chinese and the Indians aren't there yet'," McGuinty said. "Well, most of the stuff that's up there is the result of emissions produced by the developed world."
    "We shouldn't be dragging our feet. We shouldn't be reluctant. We should be ambitious," he said.
    "What Canadians want their government to do is lead on this score, and we're not leading - we're following. Worse than that, we're hindering."
    Ottawa has been adamant that it will reject any climate deal without binding targets on all major emitters.
    The Conservative government contends any climate deal without China, India, and the United States would be useless to stem emissions, and it's willing to hold out until it gets one, federal Environment Minister John Baird has said.
    The Tories point to statistics that those countries are responsible for the majority of the world's emissions, and that greenhouse gases would continue skyrocketing globally unless they move to reduce them.
    Federal officials have called it illogical for Canada to launch climate-change negotiations, which could take years to complete, by promising to sign any deal from the outset.
    One official described that approach as a weak negotiating strategy that would ultimately result in a worse deal for Canada and for the environment.
    The Conservatives say they want to avoid the trap they contend the previous Liberal government fell into in Kyoto, Japan, in 1997 where some countries played hardball while Canada was so desperate to get a deal that it accepted an impossible target.
    The Conservatives also say their position is being distorted by environmentalists and foreign governments.
    Canadian officials said they don't expect all countries - including China and India - to be held to the same targets as rich ones. Canada agrees that the fast-growing economies of the developing giants will require more flexibility and longer-term targets.
    Baird has met with de Boer and explained that Canada is not holding out for a deal that would impose identical targets on everyone.
    But the UN climate boss is not the only prominent figure at Bali to express regret at Canada's position.
    The head of the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Rajendra Pachauri, accused Canada's government of being climate-change skeptics.
    The head of the German delegation said the Canadian position is not constructive.
    A senior Chinese diplomat has called the Canadians and Japanese the most unco-operative of all countries.
    A hall of shame at the conference site - where environmental groups hand out a so-called fossil award for each day's three worst performers - is sprinkled with maple leaves. Last weekend, Canada won all three fossil awards on the same day.
    One European journalist who spotted a group of Canadian colleagues jokingly quipped: How does it feel to be the bad guy?
    Someone appears determined to make life difficult for the Canadian government at Bali.
    The government plans to make a feel-good funding announcement every day of the summit, and someone has been leaking the entire schedule to the opposition Liberals.
    An aide to Liberal Leader Stephane Dion held up his Blackberry to show multimillion-dollar government announcements on aid for poor countries, for Canadian communities struggling with climate-change problems and on cash for the UN's Clean Development Mechanism.
    He joked that Dion, a former environment minister, still has many friends at the summit.

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    This article is interesting because it very clearly shows that the Conservatives are "believing" in Climate Change now only because if they didn't they'd lose a hell of a lotta votes.... They shut down an identical program last year (pre-believing in climate change) only to start up a pretty much identical program to say that "they're doing something" about it, unlike those damn Liberals. I also find this article amusing because it's written by Canwest and actually talks about the Conservative hypocrisy

    Canada brings back climate funding
    Global critics still skeptical following $85.9-million announcement
    Mike De Souza , CanWest News Service
    Published: Monday, December 10, 2007
    NUSA DUA, Indonesia - After shutting down a federal climate research network last summer, the Harper government announced Monday that it would restore $85.9 million in funding over four years to protect Canadians from the impacts of global warming.
    The money will be used to help various communities and economic sectors adapt to impacts such as severe weather, the pine beetle infestations in Western Canada as well as crumbling infrastructure in the north.
    But Environment Minister John Baird was unable to say whether the program would be any different than the Canadian Climate Adaptation and Impacts Research Network that it shut down last July.

    The announcement was the second one of the day for Baird, who also handed over a $7.5-million cheque for a new global initiative to promote clean energy projects in developing countries. He is expected to make other good news announcements throughout the week, such as a long-overdue $1.5-million payment for the Kyoto Protocol's Clean Development Mechanism, and a $15-million announcement to fund green energy in the north.
    But the announcements didn't silence criticism from many prominent officials and government representatives who said Canada isn't doing enough to honour its commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions as required by the Kyoto Protocol.
    The United Nations top climate change official, Yvo de Boer, was among those who questioned the Harper government's position, noting that he couldn't understand how Canada expected to demand binding commitments from India and China when it wasn't planning to keep its own promises to fight climate change.
    Rajendra Pachauri, the chairperson of the Nobel Prize-winning Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) also criticized Canada last week, noting that its current administration was "a government of skeptics."
    Officials from China and Europe have also suggested that Canada's position in international negotiations is putting a future climate change treaty in danger.
    Most observers agree that a new deal must be finalized by 2009 in order to maintain international efforts to fight climate change beyond 2012 at the end of the Kyoto Protocol's first commitment period of binding targets.
    The IPCC warned this year that humans must drastically change their behaviour to stop greenhouse gases from heating up the atmosphere to a tipping point of irreversible damage to the climate.

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    And it's not isolated to Canadian news outlets.. and with the BBC saying that opposition is being LED by us? Yikes.

    No unity yet at UN climate talks

    Protestors have held a number of events including beach prayers
    Disagreements over responsibility for tackling climate change remain much in evidence as UN climate negotiations enter their second week.

    The EU and developing countries want industrialised nations to start talks on a further set of emissions targets.

    But this is being resisted by a number of parties led by Canada.

    Trade ministers, meeting for the first time at UN climate talks, advocated lowering trade barriers on low-carbon energy products.

    But this met with opposition from some development charities, which accused Western countries of "recycling failed WTO initiatives".

    The two-week negotiations under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and Kyoto Protocol are being held in the beach resort of Nusa Dua in the Indonesian island of Bali.

    No caps

    The backdrop to the summit is the comprehensive assessment of climate science, impacts and economics produced by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) during the course of 2007.

    Its recommendation that global greenhouse gas emissions should peak and then start falling within 10 to 15 years has been included in a draft text circulated to negotiators in Bali.

    The text also says that industrialised countries should cut their emissions by 25-40% by 2020.

    But Yvo de Boer, UNFCCC executive secretary, told reporters that these targets had little chance of making it into the final agreement.

    The Bali meeting will not set national targets for reducing emissions beyond those contained in the Kyoto Protocol which expire in 2012. But the EU and other pro-agreement parties want the meeting to conclude with a "Bali roadmap" for agreeing a set of targets by the end of 2009.

    "I really hope that [national emission caps] is a discussion that will be taken up toward the end of that two years rather than here," said Mr de Boer.

    Sideline distraction

    US opposition to the Kyoto Protocol has partly been predicated on the argument that major developing countries, as well as the industrialised world, should accept binding targets for reducing emissions.

    The argument has been freshly made in Bali by Canada. A set of "Canadian Principles for a post-2012 Climate Change Agreement", leaked to environmental groups, states: "The agreement should include binding emission reduction targets for all major emitters.

    Other visitors to Bali have been enjoying the island's hot climate
    "Developed countries should be required to take action more quickly, but major industrialised developing countries should also have binding targets."

    Major developing economies such as China, India and Brazil argue that their per-capita emissions are a long way below western levels, and that taking on targets would slow their economic growth

    In September the US hosted the first meeting of the "major economies" group - also known as the "big emitters" - bringing together the biggest greenhouse gas producers from the developed and developing worlds.

    The same group has been meeting again on the fringes of the Bali talks, which environmental groups say is a US move designed to undermine the UN process. The US has announced a further "big emitters" summit at the end of January.

    Trade barriers

    Developing countries have been pushing for a deal in Bali that would ease the transfer of clean technologies from the industrialised world.

    Over the weekend, trade ministers discussed a US-EU proposal to liberalise the global market for "green" goods and services through the World Trade Organization (WTO), which proponents argue could increase take-up of these technologies in the developing world.

    Brazil was angered by the exclusion of bioethanol. And activists accused the EU and US of seeking market access for their own goods.

    "The US and the EU have repeatedly sought market access in developing countries, including for environmental goods and services, but they have steadfastly refused to reform their own unfair trade practices," said Barry Coates, executive director of Oxfam New Zealand.

    "This proposal could create the impression that the climate change challenge at the WTO can easily be addressed through promoting trade in a select few goods and services."

    Finance ministers will also assemble during the second week of the Bali talks.

  5. #5


    Wow. Thanks for posting these. I'm glad it's finally making it into the press. It's no surprise. Canada also led the defense of Wolfowitz as the head of the World Bank.

  6. Default

    So Baird says, "That's why we'll be judged by the actions we take, not be the promises and commitments that we make..."

    From the Globe:

    Business gets a voice on Canadian delegation at Bali
    Environmentalists and MPs excluded by Ottawa cry foul over federal government's decision to give executives a place at the table


    From Monday's Globe and Mail

    December 10, 2007 at 3:26 AM EST

    NUSA DUA, INDONESIA — After banishing environmentalists and opposition MPs from Canada's delegation to the Bali climate conference, Ottawa has decided to allow an oil company and several business executives to join the official delegation.

    Two companies from Ottawa, where Environment Minister John Baird is an MP, have been allowed to join Canada's official delegation to the climate-change conference, according to documents obtained by The Globe and Mail.

    A major oil and gas producer, EnCana Corp. of Calgary, was also permitted to join the delegation.

    By joining the Canadian delegation, the corporations could influence Canada's position at the Bali conference, where about 190 countries are trying to hammer out a new agreement to replace the Kyoto accord to solve the global-warming crisis.

    Last month, the government announced that environmental groups and opposition MPs would not be welcome in the official delegation at Bali, despite a long-standing tradition of including them in Canadian delegations to international meetings. Aboriginal groups were also banned from the delegation.

    Among those included on the Canadian delegation are four executives of Iogen Corp., a biotechnology company that produces cellulose ethanol, and PlascoEnergy Group Inc., a waste conversion company.

    Both are based in Ottawa, and both have received substantial federal money. Iogen was given $7.7-million by the federal government last February, while Plasco has received $6.5-million from the federal government.

    Plasco's CEO is Rod Bryden, former owner of the Ottawa Senators of the National Hockey League.

    By joining the official Canadian delegation, the companies will gain a series of privileges, including access to government briefings and closed-door sessions at the Bali conference.

    A senior government official confirmed that the three companies are included in the Canadian delegation. “These three companies are good examples of new, exciting and innovative Canadian technology,” he said. “It's impossible to bring everyone, but we're happy that these companies are here as examples of Canadian technology to fight climate change.”

    Those excluded from the Canadian delegation are crying foul. They say it is unfair and inconsistent for the government to invite business leaders after excluding environmentalists and MPs.

    “The government has thrown off anyone with a critical viewpoint, and they're not sharing their views with anyone in civil society,” said Emilie Moorhouse, atmosphere and energy campaigner at the Sierra Club of Canada.

    “They're deciding their policies at the exclusion of the representatives of civil society and the majority of MPs. It reflects a huge lack of transparency in the government. All voices within Canadian society should be consulted and represented.”

    Dale Marshall, climate-change policy analyst at the David Suzuki Foundation, said the government has never properly explained why it decided to ban environmentalists from the delegation.

    “It's in the government's interest to have a wider range of views represented,” he said.

    Nathan Cullen, the NDP environment critic, said he eventually gained access to the Bali conference by getting registered as a “non-governmental organization.” He said he requested permission to join the Canadian delegation, but the government never explained why it refused to include him.

    While banning environmentalists and opposition MPs from its Bali delegation, the government did decide to set up an “advisory panel” whose members include former Quebec premier Pierre Marc Johnson; Mary Simon, president of the Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami; Ian Morton, chief executive officer of Summerhill Group; and Elizabeth Dowdeswell, former chief of the United Nations Environment Programme.

    Meanwhile, Canada has announced a boost in funding for a global fund designed to help poor countries deal with climate change.

    The new $7.5-million contribution makes Canada the second-largest donor to the Global Environment Facility's climate-change fund, federal officials said.

    With a report from Canadian Press

    Well, actions does speak louder than words indeed. Shame. In addition, stop blaming the Liberals - it's been 2 years and what has Canada's New Government done, so far? As Stephaine Dion said - "recycling" - old initiatives that is, a year after canning them.


  7. Default

    I really wished that all this stuff either came out tomorrow or the sentencing for Conrad Black was delayed... thanks to the Black story, none of this was really reported in the news... and i'm sure it would have made lead story if there wasn't anything to talk about for Black.

  8. Default

    uhhh.. yeah.... the National tonight featured about 10 minutes at the beginning on Conrad Black... and to my... I have no words... shock? dismay? *whha???*, hired actor Ken Welsh to read Conrad's statement in court today.... this is the flagship CBC news program... and they use 5 minutes of it to have an actor read Black's statement? Wtf...

    oh yeah, they did mention Canada in Bali today... for a total of 15 seconds... and it was Baird repeating himself again on binding targets. 15 seconds on the most important issue facing mankind... 5 minutes of an actor reading a speech. On the national news.


  9. #9


    One of the major issues is that the United States, Canada, Japan and Australia want developing countries including China and India to commit to cuts in emissions. Representatives from those new industrial countries and others like them are refusing to go along with that idea saying that only the older industrialized nations should be cutting their emissions. China is now the largest source of greenhouse emissions, and those emissions are growing.

    If this is issue is so dire, then why would any representative who believes in this issue be fighting to have his or her country excluded? Not only that, the countries demanding exclusion from binding targets (or any emission reductions) would only be increasing their emissions over time - and at an ever more rapid rate for the near future. If they are accusing other industrialized nations of putting their economies first, then these countries would appear to be doing exactly the same thing. Add to that, they would be constructing the very infrastructure that would have to be disassembled at a later date and at great cost to them.

    The idea that only the industrialized countries have a responsibility to act is a little empty in the face of the rhetoric surrounding this issue.

  10. #10


    Hardly. The impact of carbon emissions in the atmosphere is cumulative. It will take decades for China and India to catch up to the cumulative emissions of the industrialized nations over the past 150 years. It's quite reasonable that they be given a break at first.

  11. #11

  12. #12


    Quote Originally Posted by unimaginative2 View Post
    Hardly. The impact of carbon emissions in the atmosphere is cumulative. It will take decades for China and India to catch up to the cumulative emissions of the industrialized nations over the past 150 years. It's quite reasonable that they be given a break at first.
    The decreases in the already industrialized nations will make little or no difference in light of the increasing emissions in other countries. Again, following the rhetoric, why should anyone have a break? If this issue is so important to the world, why should certain countries be given a pass?

  13. Default

    I think it's very simple. We in the western world, we have the means and the ability to easily cut our emissions. Wealth is extremely concentrated in our countries, and that's not simply in financial terms, but in knowledge and power as well. Nations such as China and India, on the other hand, although they are coming of age in the globalized economy and increasing in wealth, the majority of their populations are still living in poverty, and these countries are fighting just to keep up with the growth that us, as western nations are demanding of them, in terms of producing the products we consume and essentially, cheap labour. This is while they are struggling to provide even the basic necessities of human life, such as clean water. It is because of the west that these nations are developing at such a rapid and unsustainable rate, and it's simply unfair for us to demand things like binding targets on them when they aren't ready in so many senses of the word.
    In the west, on the other hand, we have the excess wealth to make these changes to reduce our emissions in real terms now. The technology for the most part, is already there. It can be said that we are choosing to continue to behave in an unsustainable fashion, particularly here in North America. This is while we have the brightest minds in the world, with the most wealth in the world, when we can easily develop and implement ways of improving the environment... and then subsequently we can hand our knowledge and solutions down to the developing world. We already do this, with Canadian developed CANDU reactors in China and India providing nuclear energy to reduce the reliance on coal. The research and technology behind carbon sequestration, developed in the western world, is being used throughout the developing world to reduce the impact of coal energy. Did the western world have this technology a century ago when we were burning coal? No.
    It is worrying, though, of the potential threat that China and India have on emissions in the future. Though when you continue to look at per-capita, not absolute, emissions, both countries are far behind the States, Canada, and Europe. China has 13-million cars in a population of 1.2 billion. Yes, this number is exploding, but on a per capita basis, much lower than the west. And again, the application of new technologies is in these vehicles to start, with China adopting Ultra Low Emissions Standards that make even Canada look backwards.

    At the heart of the argument, is we, as the west, have to do what is right for the world and stop being so damn greedy. Just making good choices here will in turn improve the developing world's chances. If we reduce our reliance on foreign products and goods, there will be less pressure on China in particular to expand so quickly. Again, it's what is right, and it pains me to see our country's representatives not seeing the logic in what thousands of scientists, environmentalists, and other politicians are saying.

  14. #14


    Interesting response 299 bloor control,

    First off, to say that it is simple and that we have the means to cut emissions is the belie the actual and significant difficulties in doing so. While wealth may be concentrated to a greater or lesser degree in Western nations, it is not endless wealth. Governments face responsibilities over many priorities, not just one. The emission targets set out by Kyoto and beyond will have a very considerable price tag, and that price will affect virtually everyone at ever level - and these effects will go beyond borders as well. This fact must be recognized.

    Still, if this issue is so dire as defined by the rhetoric surrounding it, then why shouldn't all nations be making cuts? Is this not a global issue? Why should a plan that repudiates the past and present actions of some nations at the same time reinforce exactly the same dependencies for others?

    Any emission cuts made by Western nations will be cancelled out by the increased emissions in newly industrialized countries. As of the present, there are no viable plans to meet the emission cut numbers proposed for Western countries. There is a high likelihood that these countries (including Canada) will not be able to meet their targets. This fact is just not mentioned in the present because it is always politically expedient to make a promises in the present, and then to let the future deal with it.

    The research and technology behind carbon sequestration, developed in the western world, is being used throughout the developing world to reduce the impact of coal energy.

    Though when you continue to look at per-capita, not absolute, emissions, both countries are far behind the States, Canada, and Europe. China has 13-million cars in a population of 1.2 billion. Yes, this number is exploding, but on a per capita basis, much lower than the west. And again, the application of new technologies is in these vehicles to start, with China adopting Ultra Low Emissions Standards that make even Canada look backwards.
    The point is that the numbers will continue to grow. And the primary number of concern is always the absolute emissions. As for vehicles and ultra-low emission standards, these are all promissory notes to the future.

  15. #15


    Quote Originally Posted by Hydrogen View Post
    The decreases in the already industrialized nations will make little or no difference in light of the increasing emissions in other countries. Again, following the rhetoric, why should anyone have a break? If this issue is so important to the world, why should certain countries be given a pass?
    Of course it would make a difference. Instead of growing by 100% or more, emissions could stay stable or even decline slightly. That's certainly a logical fallacy. Emissions cuts in industrialized countries won't be "cancelled out". They'll still happen. Emissions wouldn't decline as rapidly as they could if poorer nations cut simultaneously, but the latter is far more difficult as they're far less able to afford it.

    Good points, 299.

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