Breaking: Canada to seek climate change deal with President-elect Obama

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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.

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Kevin is a contributor and strategic adviser to DeSmog. He runs the digital marketing agency Spake Media House. Named a “Green Hero” by Rolling Stone Magazine and one of the “Top 50 Tweeters” on climate change and environment issues, Kevin has appeared in major news media outlets around the world for his work on digital campaigning. Kevin has been involved in the public policy arena in both the United States and Canada for more than a decade. For five years he was the managing editor of DeSmogBlog.com. In this role, Kevin’s research into the “climate denial industry” and the right-wing think tank networks was featured in news media articles around the world. He is most well known for his ground-breaking research into David and Charles Koch’s massive financial investments in the Republican and tea party networks. Kevin is the first person to be designated a “Certified Expert” on the political and community organizing platform NationBuilder. Prior to DeSmog, Kevin worked in various political and government roles. He was Senior Advisor to the Minister of State for Multiculturalism and a Special Assistant to the Minister of State for Asia Pacific, Foreign Affairs for the Government of Canada. Kevin also worked in various roles in the British Columbia provincial government in the Office of the Premier and the Ministry of Health. In 2008 Kevin co-founded a groundbreaking new online election tool called Vote for Environment which was later nominated for a World Summit Award in recognition of the world’s best e-Content and innovative ICT applications. Kevin moved to Washington, DC in 2010 where he worked for two years as the Director of Online Strategy for Greenpeace USA and has since returned to his hometown of Vancouver, Canada.

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