Serious Finacial Costs and Trade Implications for Canada from Abandoning Kyoto


Read this article from The Globe and Mail on the very real risk of serious economic impacts to Canada stemming from the Harper Government’s decision to abandon its treaty commitments under the Kyoto Protocol.

There’s politics in climate change and money at stake in talks. Moral arguments aside, the politics will matter.

Kyoto withdrawal was an unusually big news story for a country that
gets little mention, playing as a big deal in international media. It
was a top Web-hit story for the BBC. Reporters kept asking U.S. climate
negotiator Todd Stern about Canada. Canada’s emissions story jumped to
the masses. It could be the new seal hunt. Japan and Russia won’t meet
Kyoto targets either, but Canada withdrew and got headlines.

There was also pointed criticism from countries such as China and France, and many more…

…It’s not just that the oil sands are a fast-growing source of
emissions. Canada is 30 per cent over Kyoto targets, and the oil sands
are just part. Canada is the eighth-largest greenhouse-gas emitter.
China is largest, but per person its emissions are one-third of
Canada’s. Ottawa has no regulation plan for big emitters. Canada can’t
combat the story that the oil sands make us dirty.

One day,
politics will bring cost. A 2009 U.S. bill to apply tariffs on goods for
countries that fail to meet climate standards passed the House but died
in the Senate. Mr. Levi expects Europeans or others to revive the idea.

Mr. Leach said: “I think you’re going see countries looking to apply blame by punishment.” (December 15, 2011)

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