Friday, 7 December 2007

Canada’s Climate Change Performance - Nearly Scraping Bottom

It seems that the Harper Conservatives in their unending effort to make us more like the U.S. have decided to join our American friends in the race to the bottom of the Climate Change Performance Index (CCPI). Canada placed 53rd out of 56 countries several places below China (40th) and just above the United States and Saudi Arabia.

The U.S. which refuses to sign the Kyoto Accord and the Harper Conservatives which refuse to acknowledge that Canada has signed it, have joined forces to promote the most bizarre form of measuring CO2 emissions. The Bush Administration, in an attempt to look like it is doing something on climate change, has committed to reducing “greenhouse gas intensity of the American economy”. Greenhouse gas intensity refers to the relative amounts of CO2 produced per unit of economic activity (GDP). The problem with this political brainwave is that if targets are tied to economic growth then actual emissions can continue to rise right along side as long as the CO2/GDP ration gets smaller.

Newsflash – the climate doesn’t care how much money anyone is making. It is only by reducing real emission levels with there be any substantial effect on the environment.

Canada’s current Clean Air Act put in place by the Conservative government uses intensity based targets until 2020. (Too bad this government’s vision of our environment’s future isn’t.)

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