Daily Archives: December 6, 2007

Canada’s strategy becomes apparent

The Globe has Geoffrey York on the ground at the Bali conference on The Protocol After The Kyoto One. He reports:

There are growing signs that the Harper government has formed an unofficial troika with Tokyo and Washington at the negotiations. Using similar language in their statements, the three countries seem to have co-ordinated their message, stressing that economic growth is just as valuable as the environment.

Argh. In the long term, they’re the same thing. The environment isn’t a nice thing to have, like an art gallery or a good baseball team. It’s a necessity, like a functioning marketplace with enforceable contracts. There’s a deep divide between those of conservative cast who get this and those who don’t.

…Canada said there must be a “balance” between the environment and “economic prosperity.”

There were other similarities, too. While they talked vaguely about long-term goals for the next 50 years, none of the troika made any mention of short-term targets for an agreement to replace Kyoto when it expires in 2012. None mentioned anything about binding commitments or mandatory targets for reducing greenhouse gases by 2020…

So all the talk of getting everybody, including China, India and the U.S., to sign onto meaningful targets was, in fact, just talk. York finds that China is ticked off at Canada‘s recalcitrance.

In its opening submission, Bejing called on developing countries to “contribute more to undertake commitments of policies and measures” to address climate change. It was the first time China had ever used the word “commitments” in any climate-change negotiation, analysts said.

I could scream.