Wednesday, August 5, 2009

1st Ministers Conference

A good op-ed from Rick Smith of Environmental Defence about the importance of not letting Alberta & Saskatchewan off the hook at the expense of the rest of the provinces in righting climate change.

Clean energy, not photo-op, should be premiers' priority

If the premiers all agreed in general terms about the level of pollution cuts needed and the system to accomplish this, then Ottawa's job would be relatively straightforward.

But Alberta and Saskatchewan, instead of wanting to make pollution cuts, actually want to increase their contribution to global warming by exploiting the tar sands.

All the talk about technology reducing tar-sands emissions is sadly that – just talk. If new technology like carbon capture and storage can in fact be proven effective, it's years away, which is time we don't have if we are serious about battling global warming.

Unfortunately, Harper is all too sympathetic to tar-sands development, meaning he will be predisposed to building a national pollution system that makes Quebec, Ontario and other provinces pick up the slack for growing tar-sands pollution.

If we are to meet national reduction targets, then having one sector grow its pollution can only come at the expense of other sectors making even deeper cuts to accommodate it.

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