Environment Minister Breaks Promise to Release Climate Policies Before Copenhagen
(Ottawa) - Climate Action Network Canada is calling on the federal government to honour its promise to announce regulations to curb greenhouse gas emissions from large polluters in time for the international climate summit this December in Copenhagen.
Environment Minister Jim Prentice told Le Devoir on Monday that regulations would not be announced despite promising just that at least three times this year alone.
A selection of quotations from the Minister include:
October 27, 2009 (Le Devoir): “The Minister of the environment, Jim Prentice, confirmed last night to Le Devoir that the framework will not be completed as promised before the international climate change conference, which will be held from the 7-18th of December in Copenhagen.”
The above information clearly contradicts the below statements.
September 7, 2009 (Hill Times): “[W]e will ensure that all of our domestic climate change policies are clearly enunciated to the Canadian public by the time we get to Copenhagen.”
June 4, 2009 (Speech): “I want to be perfectly clear about the timing of all this, because our position is very straightforward. We will outline the full suite of policies that relate to all major sources of emissions this year, in 2009. I have said this, this will happen time and time again and it will happen by the time we reach the international table at Copenhagen.”
April 29, 2009 (Point Carbon): "By Copenhagen, Canada will have made “a clear enunciation of Canadian policies that will deal with all major sources of greenhouse gas emissions.”
The “back-and-forth” by the Harper government on the issue of regulating large GHG emitters in Canada clearly has everyone confused including members of its own caucus. Steven Blaney, chair of the Quebec Conservative caucus and MP for Lévis-Bellchasse was quoted on September 22nd, “The reason we will meet our emission reduction target is because we have put into place a regulatory framework. The fruits of our labour since 2006 are visible because of the implementation of this framework for all large emitting sectors in Canada."
Yet no such framework exists. And without a clear and comprehensive suite of domestic policies on greenhouse gas emission reductions, Canada will arrive empty-handed at the UN climate negotiations in December.
“The current government is clearly refusing to take climate change seriously, and is choosing to invest their energy in manufacturing excuses instead of solutions,” says Graham Saul of Climate Action Network Canada. “In the midst of a crisis that is already affecting millions of people, this is unacceptable.”
“The Canadian government is increasingly isolated in the global community by its inaction on global warming. With new and progressive administrations in countries such as Australia, Norway, and Japan, Canada is increasingly at odds with others because of its weak targets, lack of regulations, and obstructionist tactics,” says Dale Marshall of the David Suzuki Foundation.
This Monday the final round of negotiations before Copenhagen will get underway in Barcelona. These five days of negotiations will be the last before countries gather to make final decisions in December.