Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, who only stumbled upon the reality of climate change in the last year, is scheduled to address the United Nations today to boast about Canada’s climate change plans.
Per the partial quote above, he goes with a disadvantage. According to Johanne Whitmore, a climate change policy analyst with the Pembina Institute, “We (Canadians) have next to no credibility on the international negotiation level.”
I actually think that Whitmore is overstating the case. Canada has less than no credibility on this issue. Our performance has consistently ranked between laughable and embarrassing. We endorsed Kyoto even as we were doing less than the recalcitrant United States to meet its targets. And since the election of Harper’s Conservative administration, the Canadian government has joined the U.S./Australian effort to undermine Kyoto even while alleging a legitimate concern about the issue. You could call our three countries and Axis of Weasels.
Canadian political leaders have at least one aspect of this situation figured out: Harper’s Environment Minister John Baird said on the weekend that, “At the end of the day, people will judge us not by our talk but by our action.”
Too true. You just have to hope that he and Harper start ACTING like that is a serious concern.