Did Fairness Lead Us Here?

on

One more day remains for negotiations at COP15 and the likelihood of breakthrough is now small.  The “fair, ambitious, and legally binding treaty” many hoped for will most likely end up as a fragmented and ambiguous outcome.  I am left wondering about the political rationale that brought us here.

My country actually justified inaction on climate change as a matter of fairness. Prime Minister Stephen Harper said prior to Copenhagen that Canada cannot reduce emissions unless it is confident that developing countries will be making equal effort. Otherwise, Harper said, Canada faces economic risks that are just too high.

The Greenhouse Development Rights Framework explores the qualities of a fair agreement. According to the  Framework, a fair agreement is one in which countries reduce emissions according to their capacity and ability.  This ranks Canada as one of the most obligated countries to reduce emissions (in fact, for 2.7% of mitigation obligations worldwide by 2020).

A lot of rhetoric and diplomatic wordsmithing has been thrown around these past two weeks, but the most offensive in my view is the claim that Canada cannot lead out of fairness.

 

Related Posts

on

Some residents of Dimock, Pennsylvania have not had clean water for 14 years because of Cabot Oil & Gas’ fracking operations. A “historic” plea caps off the landmark fracking case and will result in the restoration of clean drinking water.

Some residents of Dimock, Pennsylvania have not had clean water for 14 years because of Cabot Oil & Gas’ fracking operations. A “historic” plea caps off the landmark fracking case and will result in the restoration of clean drinking water.
on

"Lack of regulation makes for a Wild West of sustainable fund management", Edward Lander from Ethical Consumer said.

"Lack of regulation makes for a Wild West of sustainable fund management", Edward Lander from Ethical Consumer said.
on

Leaders in the state’s environmental justice movement see signs their pressure is bringing accountability for both government and polluters.

Leaders in the state’s environmental justice movement see signs their pressure is bringing accountability for both government and polluters.
Opinion

This bold new mechanism is what’s needed to end fossil fuel-induced violence against women, natural resources, and the climate, argue two African peace activists.

This bold new mechanism is what’s needed to end fossil fuel-induced violence against women, natural resources, and the climate, argue two African peace activists.