Saturday, November 24, 2007

Congrats to Australia's Labor Party, hurray for one less climate change denier on the world stage...

It's always a wonderful thing to see a progressive party sweep aside a neo-conservative government, especially in a place like Australia which has many similarities with Canada.

Check out ABC's website coverage of Kevin Rudd's big win here.

This result is sweeter because defeated neo-con John Howard was not only a close colleague of our own Prime Minister Stephen Harper, but this means one less climate change denier on the world stage, and less support for George Bush's Iraq fiasco. All in all, a great day for progressive-minded people in the Commonwealth.

Speaking of which, now Stephen Harper is truly officially isolated as the lone voice obstructing action on this issue amongst Commonwealth countries.

Apparently, our national government - elected solely because voters were tired of the scandal-plagued Liberals - is fighting like mad to stop a proposed statement by Commonwealth countries that would bind Canada to cutting greenhouse gas emissions substantially. Harper's problem: the wording of the statement targets developed countries, not developing countries.

"We are not blocking a binding target," the Prime Minister's spokeswoman, Sandra Buckler, has said. "We are, however, looking for a declaration that is as strong as the APEC declaration [which was agreed to by China and the United States] in terms of the importance of comprehensiveness — that all countries, notably major emitters, must contribute to reducing [greenhouse-gas] emissions. We would not support a binding target only for some emitters, especially if that excludes major emitters."

Of course, the APEC declaration Buckler refers to only sets aspirational — voluntary — emissions reductions targets for major emitters. Voluntary reductions of course means no substantial action to fight the climate change crisis we are facing. The issue here isn't getting China and the USA to agree, the issue here for Harper is stopping any binding targets, either in the developed or developing world. How despicable.

The sooner Canada elects Stephane Dion the better!

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