One day after the United States voted Barack Obama as their next president, Canadian government officials are saying that the time is ripe for a continent-wide solution to global warming.
Sounds good, but unfortunately there are some major gaps between what Canada is proposing and the much more aggressive plan out in Obama’s election platform.
Yet, in what might be the overstatement of the year, Foreign Affairs Minister Lawrence Cannon said there are plenty of similarities between Obama’s climate position and the Canadian government’s. Not.
You can look here for a complete comparison of Obama’s fairly impressive climate commitments, as well as the comparatively embarrassing plan of inaction favored by the Canadian Conservative Party administration of Prime Minister Stephen Harper. But what you’ll find is a bad fit between a new U.S. leader intent upon changing his country’s direction and a Canadian leader who may be the only resident north of the 49th parallel who will regret the departure of U.S. President and part-time oil company lobbyist George W. Bush.
Little more than a year ago, Canada was collaborating with the U.S. and Australia in an international effort to block climate change action. The Australians replaced their backsliding government with one more committed to global responsibility and now U.S. voters have done the same.
That leaves only Canada playing the part of selfish oil sheik in a threatened world. We can only hope that Obama’s leadership forces the Canadian government to recognize that it, too, has a responsibility to join the international effort to address climate change – in good faith and in our lifetime.