I wholeheartedly agree with Montreal Gazette columnist Janet Bagnall that, "Canadians should be ashamed of our government's actions in Bali."
In her column today, Bagnall summarizes the importance of the Bali climate change conference and how Stephen Harper is actually making matters worse for the planet, not better. What a contrast to the 2005 Montreal conference on climate change where Stephane Dion helped Canada lead the world.
Bagnall writes: "Bali must be the political response to the recent scientific reports by the IPCC," UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said. "All countries must do what they can to reach agreement by 2009, and to have it in force by the expiry of the current Kyoto Protocol commitment period in 2012."
But Canada, for one, seems to have no intention of doing any such thing. Our country, one of the world's Top 10 emitters of greenhouse gases, will, under the Harper government, continue to undermine negotiations under cover of seeking "fairness."
Fairness, to the Harper government, consists in waiting until other top emitters sign on to a post-Kyoto agreement before it commits itself to anything. China, India and the United States would have to agree to cut their greenhouse-gas emissions by a fixed number before Canada acts.
Ban Ki-moon says it best in this Times Online piece:
“The world’s scientists have spoken with one voice: the situation is grim and urgent action is needed,” Mr Ban said at a gathering of 190 countries on the Indonesian island of Bali. “The situation is so desperately serious that any delay could push us past the tipping point, beyond which the ecological, financial and human costs would increase dramatically. We are at a crossroads: one path leads to a comprehensive climate change agreement, the other one to oblivion.”
Man, I can't wait until Stephane Dion becomes Prime Minister and we finally get some actual and much needed leadership in Canada on this issue. Here's an excerpt from Dion's column in today's National Post:
"Canada can and must lead the world toward a sustainable, low-carbon economy by reaching for the top, not racing to the bottom. We can do better than simply "aspire" to action in the distant future.
"Finally, we must help developing countries adopt the new technologies and forestry practices that will allow them to reduce their emissions -- and that will showcase Canadian business ingenuity at the same time.
"Global warming is already inevitable and we will have to adapt, both at home and around the world. There is much work to do in Bali to create a blueprint for the future. And Canadians know that this is not a job for the reluctant or the faint of heart. That is why, whether or not Prime Minister Harper and Minister Baird choose to do the right thing, I will be in Bali, standing for my convictions, and for the hopes of millions of Canadians and people around the world."