Tuesday, July 8, 2008

G-8 leaders "have failed the world again"

While Bush, Harper and other global warming obstructionists claim "progress" and that "a deal" has been reached, environmentalists are much more to the point about the continuing sleight of hand of some of the world's worst carbon emitters (per capita or total). From the Washington Post:

The communique's language drew the disapproval of many environmental groups, which said the targets were weak or ambiguous. They accused the summit leaders of not addressing fundamental differences among themselves on matters such as speed and method, resulting in a plan with little real meaning.

The G-8 leaders "have failed the world again," Daniel Mittler, Greenpeace International's climate expert, said in a statement. "While the Arctic is melting, the G-8 are postponing action. Instead of climate protection, the world got nothing but flowery words."
So what is the plan?
On Tuesday, Bush agreed for the first time to join other major industrialized countries in setting a goal to reduce emissions. He and other leaders of the G-8 countries forged a joint communique that declares the countries will "consider and adopt" reductions of at least 50 percent as part of a new U.N. treaty to be negotiated in Copenhagen at the end of 2009.
So here are the most apparent problems with the plan,
  • the reductions are based on 2008 or 2009 emission levels, not the 1990 levels advanced by Kyoto
  • reductions will be "considered" for next year - some commitment?
  • if China, India and other developing countries aren't fully on board, the US, Canada and others will continue to allow their rate of greenhouse gas emissions to increase - there will be NO decreases
  • there are no short or medium term goals - in other words, serious efforts may not even begin until 2049
Stephen Harper, a sudden expert on the very climate change that he denied was a problem when he took over the government, is running off his mouth lecturing the developing world about why the onus is on them, not on those who have done the damage, to take meaningful action before Canada will agree to anything substantial.
Clare Demerse, a climate-change policy analyst for the Pembina Institute, noted that Canada's emissions per capita remain five times higher than China's and 10 times higher than India's. As a result, the burden should be on Canada to take the lead, she argued.

"Canada does not have the track record or climate credibility to lecture others. It's up to countries like Canada to lead, not follow," she said in an e-mail.
Clearly both Canada and the US remain in the pockets of big oil whose shareholders make more money with the more oil that is burned. It's as simple as that.

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