HARPER GOVERNMENT CONTINUES TO EMBARRASS CANADIANS ON CLIMATE CHANGE – ‘Climate deal in Copenhagen unlikely’, says Prentice
To avert an ecological crisis, the United Nations says, a country like Canada must, by 2020, reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 40% from their 1990 level, [These
numbers were based on science before 2007 and are low completely irrelevant –
the real target is zero within a decade – see articles below] and by 90% by 2050.
Canada’s emissions in 2007 (the latest statistics) are now 20% above the 1990 level. -editor
The Canwest News Service reports that, "Less than two months from key global climate-change talks, federal Environment Minister Jim Prentice says he has doubts that an agreement will be hammered out in Copenhagen."
Prentice says, "Increasingly, people are being realistic – that it’s hard to see a full and complete agreement being arrived at. There’s probably too much work to be done in the time left to achieve that. (Copenhagen is important, but) it’s more likely we’ll be working toward some agreed principles."
The Harper government says it is committed to cutting emissions by 20 per cent below 2006 [Not 1990] levels by 2020. While that is weak, Canwest notes, "the Stelmach government’s plan allows for increases in emissions – called absolute emissions — until 2020."
On that, Prentice says, "There will have to be a parity of effort across the country. We’re all in this together. If that’s going to be Canada’s national target, then each province is going to have to share their share of the burden."
Meanwhile, the Globe and Mail reports that, "(Marcel Coutu, chief executive officer of Canadian Oil Sands Trust, says) Alberta’s oil sands producers should be allowed to significantly increase their greenhouse gas emissions, even if that means forcing other sectors to take on additional expensive obligations to meet Canada’s climate change targets."
"Mr. Coutu – whose company owns 36.7 per cent of the Syncrude oil sands project – acknowledged other sectors would have to take up the slack if the oil sands have only intensity-based requirements and Ottawa imposes a national cap on emissions."
"With Alberta representing more than a third of Canadian emissions in 2006, the failure by that province to cut back will require the rest of the provinces to reduce their emissions by more than 35 per cent from 2006 levels over the next 10 years."