Canadian Senate passes Kyoto bill forcing PM Harper's hand

Canadian Senate passes Kyoto bill forcing PM Harper's hand
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In exchange for passing the Canadian Conservative government’s budget, the Senate passed a bill that will effectively force Canada to meet it’s emission targets under the Kyoto Accord.

Pablo Rodriguez, the Liberal member of parliament who introduced the bill last March, stated earlier this year that: “It means that the government has no choice but to act and meet our Kyoto obligations.”

The Kyoto Protocol Implementation Act stipulates that the government now has two months to come up with a blueprint for how it will meet its commitments under Kyoto and within 180 days, the government must bring in regulations to “ensure that Canada fully meets its obligations” under the protocol.

From the beginning the Harper government has been fighting this bill, with Environment Minister John Baird at one point stating that if C-288 [the Kyoto Bill] became law, every Canadian family, business and industry would have to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions by one-third starting in just eight month, and “There is only one way to make this happen, the government would need to manufacture a recession.”

Earlier this year the Intergovernment Panel on Climate Change reported that the cost of significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions worlwide would be about .12% of the world’s GDP, or in other words, about $10 per human currently inhabiting the earth. Using these numbers, it would mean that Canada, with an annual GDP of roughly $1.1 trillion and a population of 33 million, would need to invest about $40 per citizen, or $1.3 billion annually.

Politically, there is no issue of more concern than climate change, and now it seems that the Conservative government will have no choice but to show true national leadership and implement real plans with concrete targets.

Canadian Senate passes Kyoto bill forcing PM Harper's hand

Kevin is a contributor and strategic adviser to DeSmogBlog.

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 DeSmogBlog, 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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