A persistent rumour around official Ottawa is that the Conservative government, in its agenda-setting Speech from the Throne in Parliament this evening, will finally and formally declare Canada’s Kyoto Accord targets unachievable.
This is a palpably true statement; according to Statistics Canada, the country emitted 747 megatonnes of carbon dioxide and its equivalents in 2005, and there’s no reason to believe that figure’s gone down last year or will be lower this year. Our Kyoto targets, which kicks in in two-and-a-half months, is about 500 megatonnes. We’re not getting there, period.
Such a statement of fact is being billed as a possible “poison pill” meant to force the opposition Liberals to reject the throne-speech agenda and bring down the government — they’re the ones who forced through a bill aimed at requiring the government to honour the Kyoto Accord just last winter.
According to the Globe and Mail, the language of this passage will somehow be made unantagonistic, so the Liberals won’t find themselves honour-bound to do anything:
While there will likely be a mention of the fact that targets under the Kyoto accord for reducing greenhouse-gas emissions are no longer attainable, Conservatives said that, in their view, the language will not be antagonistic.
And yet there would be some justice if it were, and if it did put the Liberals in a jam. They’ve been harping on an impossible target for so long, they’d deserve to find themselves required either to back down on it or push the country to the polls in defence of a claim that’s demonstrably false.
It drives me crazy that the Conservatives, who clearly don’t consider greenhouse gases an important problem, have a more reasonable position on the matter than the opposition, led by a former environment minister who climbed to his party leadership partly by waving his genuinely respectable green credentials.