Harper: Canada Needs the US to Hold our Hand Before We Can Cross the Street on Climate Change

CTV reports that Harper said Canada can’t fight climate change/rising greenhouse gases alone so we had to back out of our previous environmental commitments at the G8 summit (i.e. Kyoto). This is an ironic statement coming from a Prime Minister who says he believes it’s important that Canada be seen as a leader in the world (e.g. it’s role in Afghanistan). Overall I think this latest G8 performance shows Harper to be much more comfortable as a follower than a leader. Bush sure seemed happy by the end of that meeting. Can you blame him? Harper handed him just about everything he could have wanted.

It would be costly and difficult for Canada to meet greenhouse-gas targets unless the United States also signs an international emissions treaty, Prime Minister Stephen Harper said Friday.

It seems to me that until the G8 conference arrived, Canada was not alone in being required to cut greenhouse gases. We were part of a real global agreement called Kyoto that required our country to cut emission’s along with many other countries that had signed on to the accord (including Russia). Many European countries have already begun to produce real reductions in emissions.

Just because the US did not join Kyoto does not mean we are not able to recognize a good thing for ourselves and go our own way. We didn’t go to Iraq either and look how right we were on that issue.

Since when do we need to have the US hold our hand before we can make decisions and take concrete positive action? When did we become a country that becomes immobilized by US inaction? Particularly on an issue as important to Canadians as the environment. I feel ashamed of our federal government’s saboteur role in this whole charade.

By 2100, one billion to three billion people worldwide are expected to suffer from water scarcity. Global warming will increase evaporation and severely reduce rainfall – by up to 20% in the Middle East and North Africa – with the amount of water available per person possibly halved by mid-century in these regions.

Thanks to Harper and Bush’s G8 wheeling and dealing, the Kyoto agreement/accord is dead replaced by some vague commitment to discuss another agreement at a meeting sometime in the future. Really sad.

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12 thoughts on “Harper: Canada Needs the US to Hold our Hand Before We Can Cross the Street on Climate Change

  1. Steve V says:

    Harper is basically saying we will only go as far as the Americans, or risk competitive disadvantage. Translation, we don’t need to pay any attention to Canadian politics. I guess the good news, we can tune out Baird.

  2. Stephen says:

    We are indeed immobilized by inaction. I’m not sure whether it’s what the Tories really want, or whether they’re just immobilized by the power of the fossil fuel industry, although I suspect its both.

  3. Woman At Mile 0 says:

    I would have to agree for this call for no more G8 summits. If these G8 leaders can do this amount of damage in just one meeting (e.g scrapping world climate change agreements) perhaps its better they didn’t have G8 meetings anymore. The planet will thank us for it.

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