Saturday, September 03, 2016
China's In, So Is the USA. Whither Canada?
The Paris global climate agreement got a big boost this weekend when the Chinese government agreed to ratify the agreement. Barack Obama has pledged the US will also ratify the deal.
Between them, China and the US account for 40% of global greenhouse gas emissions. That number is critical because the deal only comes into effect when at least 55-nations representing at least 55% of global emissions sign on.
Guess who hasn't reserved a place at the table yet? Canada. While the Chinese and the Americans were shaking hands and patting each other on the back, Justin Trudeau said, well he's just not ready to come on board, not yet. All our prime minister would say is that it's a "hot item" on his agenda. Yippee.
Mr. Trudeau’s government initially pledged rapid movement, with a promise to meet provinces and territories within 90 days of the Paris agreement signing. That meeting took place in March.
Ottawa has since sought to work with premiers to fashion a Canada-wide plan for combatting climate change. Earlier this year, sources told the Globe and Mail the Trudeau government wanted to reach a deal within six months of the March meeting.
But Mr. Trudeau has encountered resistance from places like Saskatchewan, whose premier Brad Wall has threatened to take Ottawa to court if it imposes a carbon price on provincial utilities. Territorial leaders have also said their constituents already pay too high a cost for energy, and cannot bear any increases.
Data obtained by the Globe this summer showed that if nothing changes, current federal and provincial climate policies will allow carbon emissions to soar 38 per cent over than the national target for 2030.