Is it time to leave Canada behind?
By Karen Rooney
The 17th Conference of Parties on climate change began today to the death knoll of Canada’s commitment to the Kyoto Protocol.
It was confirmed today that Canada plans to pull out of the Kyoto Protocol, the only legally binding emissions agreement, early next month.
This announcement comes on the heels of Canada’s Minister of the Environment, Peter Kent’s, statements declaring to the Canadian Press that Canada is coming into the negotiations ready to play hardball with developing countries. He further elaborates on this by saying: “Emerging and developing countries need to stop “wielding the historical guilty card” and asking for a free pass on emissions reductions just because in the past, industrialized countries had more emissions than the rest of the world”. Thanks for the clarifications Peter -for some reason we thought it was those developing countries who should be playing hardball with you.
As if this is not bad enough, news hit the press that Canada is coming in to COP17 with the goal of defending the Alberta tar sands and making the case for “ethical oil”. Unfortunately, in the eyes of those countries Kent is planning on gaming, there is no such thing as ethical oil. As I discussed in my last post about the Everyone’s Downstream conference, everyone suffers the effects of oil extraction and environmental destruction. Ethical oil is merely an illusion the Canadian government is posturing in order to divert attention from the human right abuses and blatant health violations that are happening in its own backyard.
Let us be very clear. Canada is approaching the COP17 negotiations in bad faith and should be ashamed of the way it has consistently been blocking the process of developing a fair and legally binding agreement. The international community, already frustrated with Canada’s lack of a climate action policy, is now asking itself if it is time to leave Canada behind and exclude them from further talks.
The question Canadians should be asking themselves is the same: Do we want our country to be left behind and further entrenched in the dying fossil fuel industry while the rest of the world moves ahead with innovation and boldness?