Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Canada: Hypocrisy in Bali

Canada's "principled stand" at this week's global climate change talks in Bali is, not to put too find a point on it, a farcical display of hypocrisy.

PM Stephen Harper argues that until all major emitters -- including developing countries like China and India -- have signed up to emissions reductions targets, Canada refuses to accept any limits on its own activity.

But Yvo de Boer, the normally diplomatic UN climate chief, exposed the absurdity of this position this week. “I personally find it interesting to hear Canada just a little while ago indicating it would not meet its commitments under the Kyoto protocol and now calling on developing countries to take binding reduction targets,” he told a press conference Monday.
“So I wonder how that's going to be received,” he added.

One wonders if Harper ever thought about how galling it would sound to developing countries that, after admitting that Canada won't meet the Kyoto targets, we are insisting that they take action. Either he didn't think about, which makes him mildly incompetent, or he did, which suggests his argument is really much more about avoiding binding commitments than it is about any "principled stand." Indeed, Harper's principles look an awful lot like a cynical masquerade.

Not exactly what Canadians expect of their Prime Minister in terms of leadership on the global stage.


Mark said...

Canada and "leadership on a global stage?" Really? :-)

I kid, Jeff. Good insight as always. If it makes you feel any better about the conference, several people at work were quite excited about spending a week in Bali in December. So there's that, at least.

Amod said...

Coming on the heels of the bloody-minded drug crackdown, this clinches it for me: the Conservatives have overstayed their welcome. I was happy to see the corrupt Liberals go and the marginalized Conservatives get a kick at the can; and for what it's worth, their bullshit is still pretty small potatoes when compared to the Bush regime. I was always a little nervous about them getting a majority, but now I think they're starting to do real damage even as a minority, which they weren't at first. Time to give Prime Minister Dion a shot.

Northern Spirit said...

Oh, give the fella a break. The Canadian public is fickle. They love the environment, but they love their dollar more, borne higher by belching tar sands. How do you lead a country like this?

Kevin said...

Finally you hosers are learning something from your southern neighbors. And that something is how to piss people off! Good points, jeff. I hadn't realized Canada was backing off on Kyoto targets.