Canadian Climate Change Policy: Let's Be First Among the World's Worst Polluters

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The Throne Speech authored by Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper promised yesterday a 20-per-cent reduction in greenhouse gases (GHGs) by 2020.

But you’ll have to forgive the gathered world leaders if they fail to leap to their feet and applaud Canada’s apparent embrace of sensible climate change policy. A decade ago, this country – which vies with the U.S. and Australia for the title of the worst per capita polluter among major world economies – promised to reduce GHGs by seven per cent below the 1990 level. Today, as Prime Minister Harper’s speech confirms, we are dumping our airborne garbage at a rate that is 33 per cent above that 1990 benchmark.

So, Mr. Harper proposes a new target that won’t even bring us back to the benchmark and a new deadline that is eight years later than the one Canada committed to in Kyoto.

No wonder the clapping was contained to the members of Prime Minister Harper’s own minority Conservative government. Everyone else is hanging their head in shame.

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