Saturday, November 24, 2007

Harper Disgusts Leaders, Blocks Commonwealth Resolution

According to Canadian Press, Stephen Harper succeeded in blocking passage of a Commonwealth resolution on global warming that would have called for binding targets on greenhouse gas emissions.

The move so frustrated some foreign diplomats that they sought out Canadian journalists to express their disgust at what was happening behind closed doors.

Harper said Canada's position has been consistent from one international summit to the next and will remain so at the upcoming negotiations in Indonesia.

He says there cannot be an international treaty unless everyone's on board - and that includes big polluters like India, China, and the United States, which were not full members of Kyoto.

...some foreign officials at the Commonwealth have privately poured scorn on the Canadian position, calling it the ultimate recipe for inaction.

They say it relies on developing countries like India and China, which are struggling to eradicate widespread poverty while growing their own economies, to act first.

"It's a bit disingenuous, actually, to present (Canada's) position as a higher ambition," one Commonwealth official said.

"We need to show the Indians we're willing to lead."

Britain's foreign minister this week did not mention Canada or Australia by name but he said climate-change talks were being held up by a 'you-first' attitude from some countries.

Sorry, Steve, but someone has to lead in order to get all the polluters to commit to a meaningful global effort and that someone ought to be the nations whose per capita greenhouse gas emissions dwarf all others. By the way, you total hypocrite, those nations just happen to be Canada and the United States.


ottlib said...

So far the only international meetings Mr. Harper has gone to have been Summits like this one.

The overarching concern of those are to have a consensus at the end. That is why Mr. Harper was able to hold out.

That will change in Bali. That meeting is to begin a process to come up with a binding international agreement. Such a process is going to involve hard bargaining before it ends and many of the parties will not roll over as easily as they did in Uganda. The Europeans have invested alot into the Kyoto Process and they are not going to let it fade away without a fight.

If Mr. Harper does not realize this and sends Mr. Baird to do more of the same both of them are in for a surprise.

Steve V said...


Could you provide a link for the text you use?

Anonymous said...

ottlib: Let's hope you are correct. Earlier, I made a comment on one of these other blogs regarding this issue, and mentioned Harper needs to be made to go to China for six months. I spent time in Shandong where almost everyday, if there wasn't a wind, you could not see three streets from a position. Air pollution so bad, the taste of chemicals, and difficulty breathing is the order of the day. I know that China has a team of Western scientists helping them combate this problem, but their main problem is getting their people to work. They have 17% of their population who is between age 17 - 24...that is their up and coming work force and the Chinese are concerned in keeping them healthy. Regradeless to what people believe in North America or are told, many Chinese people speak out about pollution problems. The government has been asked to change their vehicles to clearning operating ones.
Harper needs to spend some time in China and contemplate his actions here. While in South Korea, I was told by Doctor Oh from the Asan Medical Centre, that 90% of lung cancer in Korea is a direct link to air pollution and smoking. Here in Canada, the medical profession knows darn well that is the truth but they don't speak out. Why?

Anonymous said...

For anyones information: and click on UN official: China's climate change policies positive.

The Mound of Sound said...

Sorry Steve. I just got this from a Canadian Press feed.

The Mound of Sound said...

Sorry Steve. I just got this from a Canadian Press feed.

The Mound of Sound said...

This can't become an apples versus oranges standoff. It's also about more than just greenhouse gas emissions. This also concerns consumption of non-renewable energy resources. We consume far more than anyone else, per capita, in fossil fuels and a great deal of that is wasted energy. At the end of the day, every North American stands as a fuel glutton compared to any other citizen in the world. We squander the stuff and, in the process, generate excessive GHGs. Just how do we expect to tell other nations, who have a fraction of our per capita GHG emissions, to clean up their act first. It's lunacy.

Anonymous said...

The way I see it, What harper has said is right on the money, there can be no significant progress on Emissions without China, India, and the U.S. Even if his personal reason for blocking this passage is out of disdain. Every other country could start cutting emissions good thats great. but in it's place the big three will make any effort we put out meaningless. and Those three countries will just laugh and never join in on the emissions cutting. The argument of but if the U.N says so is void by the way, because no one gives a **** what the U.N thinks of them. Except Canadians that want to feel good about themselves. you wanna feel good? go volunteer like I do.

The Mound of Sound said...

Manuel, your dismissal of the United Nations is seriously misinformed. Don't let the US disdain for the UN confuse you. Look how well Washington's exceptionalism has served them. Had they stayed within the United Nations, America would be vastly better off today. Think about that. It's true. Itwould help if you saw the UN more clearly and understood its relatively narrow mandate. As for cutting GHGs, this can't be left to the "Big Three" as you suggest. That would be a formula for inaction. It's disappointing to see Big Oil's campaign get through to you.

Mike said...

OK, lets put to rest this nonsense about needing China and India and the US, because a lot of simpletons like to repeat that meme but no one seems to actually know the facts.

I am in India right now and I have seen first hand what they are doing:

1. Most vehicles in India are motor bikes and scooters. Very good on gas. They have an all electric model on the market now too, meaning no gas and no emissions.

2. Every car in India -EVERY car - must have a sticker on its driver's side (right) headlight indicating it is a low emission vehicle, or the vehicle can't be sold or driven.

3. Most of the cars are less than 5 years old. It is rare to see an older one, with the exception of a original Indian model, which was made back in the 60's. It is a diesel, meaning it is already getting better milage than most gasoline cars AND can run on bio-diesel or unmodified vegetable oil if needed.

4. In India almost everything that is thrown away is recycled. In Mumbai, you can actually sell your garbage to people who will take it to recycling depots - there is a market for it. Old electronic components are stripped for there metals and usable parts - hell almost anything is stripped this way.

5. Being Environmentally Friendly is a huge advantage that Indian companies are using to lure more business. It is bad business for this grow, red hot economy to NOT be environmentally friendly.

6. Most gas in India is high grade, low emission fuel or diesel.

7. India is still emitting a small fraction of the GHG that we do. Companies here are actively investing and trying to create low emission alternatives because it is good for business

In other words, India is doing stuff to lower emissions and meet Kyoto without even signing it. They are doing FAR more than Canada, and we signed it.

So conservative whiners can sure stop using India as an excuse for in action. They are already working at the problem.

The Mound of Sound said...

Hi Mike. Thanks for the insights. It's the sort of background we can't hope to get from our media and it certainly puts Harpo's sculpted claims into perspective. It's curious how India, with its modest per capita GDP, can implement these measures while we, with our very high per capita GDP, complain we can't begin to afford it. Think Harper might be just another GD liar? I'm starting to get my suspicions.