From Copenhagen to Cancun: Words can hurt

Joanna MacDonald

I’d like to take a moment to reflect on some words that came from the mouth of our negotiator yesterday during the briefing with the Canadian delegation and Canadian stakeholders. Mr. Yves St. Jacques stated that, “Everyone understands that it is time to make decisions and to compromise.” Well isn’t that fabulous…

After years and years of negotiations (as things just get worse and emissions continue on an upward trend) our leaders have FINALLY acknowledged that decisions and compromises might be a good idea.  We as Canadian can feel like proud parents whose child has learned the valuable lesson of sharing. But not really. Unlike a child who has genuinely good intentions, this discovery voiced by St. Jacques is surely just another media line with empty meaning. Although they might UNDERSTAND that decisions and compromises need to be made there is no indication that they will ACT on this understanding.

If that statement wasn’t enough, the claim that Canada’s 17% target is “ambitious” was like a bullet to the chest. Honestly? Do you actually believe that Mr. St. Jacques? Speaking of understanding, I have yet to understand how our negotiator can say that a death sentence is ambitious. It is also nothing new…this behaviour is extremely predictable and consistent. It’s words like this that remind me why I’m here…to push back when nonsense spouts out the mouth of those who represent me!

One Response to “From Copenhagen to Cancun: Words can hurt”
  1. Alex says:

    Joanna, I wish you would just realize that it’s time for those pesky developing countries to compromise. Canada has come to the table with meaningful action: we have worked hard to increase our emissions by 35% above our Kyoto target, totally winning the race. We have tried to lobby other countries to weaken their climate change legislation to ensure that dirty tar-sands oil keeps a-flowin’. Historically, we have emitted more than countries with twenty times our popultion.

    And now, here we are in a sticky situation (even stickier than when those ducks drowned in our toxic tailings ponds – whoops): these demanding developing countries simply will not compromise. It’s almost as if they want to survive! Ah, the arrogance! How can we negotiate with such people when we have tried in good faith to do our part?

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