Cameron Wigmore, Green Party Member: Going green is an economic plus, but Tories won't do it

April 30, 2007

Going green is an economic plus, but Tories won't do it

While surfing the news online (I mostly use the highly customizable Google News but I have other alternative sources too) I spotted The Province, a CanWest Global paper from Vancouver BC. Here are a few links and story excerpts on the latest green plan from the Harper Government...

Tory Green Scheme Kills Kyoto With Hot Air

CLIMATE CHANGE: Greenhouse gases to continue rising under weak plan
James McNulty, The Province
Published: Sunday, April 29, 2007

Perched on a sunny Vancouver hotel rooftop last fall, Stephen Harper pitched his then-new Clean Air Act as the golden eagle of climate-change plans.

It would soar through greenhouse gases like a bird and sting pollution like a bee, Harper told the glorious photo-op, which cost taxpayers $75,000 to stage.

Nuts, said the opposition parties. The Liberals and NDP claimed the Clean Air Act was a partisan time-waster, when GHGs and smog-causing pollutants could be regulated under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act.

Nuts, said Harper, claiming CEPA wasn't strong enough. The Clean Air Act was declared "dead" by the opposition and a stalemate ensued.

Instead of standing by the CEPA argument, the opposition -- and Harper -- bought into NDP Leader Jack Layton's plan to revive the act for rework by a House committee.

The act was then bolstered with GHG caps and returned to Harper three weeks ago. The revisions were too tough for his liking.

Harper's solution? Abandon the big-sell act and have green foghorn John Baird announce that Canada's environment would now be saved . . . with new CEPA regulations.

The impenetrable haze of climate-change politics is thicker than ever for bamboozled Canadians.

The opposition, having spent months rebuilding the act it once said was unnecessary, now argues that it trumps CEPA.

Layton, the Liberals and the Bloc Quebecois were suckered when Harper agreed to rework his act. The PM clearly had no intention of honouring the committee's work, using the sop to waste time on a file already years behind schedule.

Harper and Baird's new plan is called the Clean Air Regulatory Agenda. It amounts to unambitious, unbalanced, half-slices of old Liberal policy, weak "intensity-based" GHG-reduction targets that allow total GHG output to continue rising, and a feebly low carbon tax of $15 per tonne for non-compliers.

It abandons Canada's Kyoto targets, even as a new Strategic Counsel poll shows that a clear majority of Canadians -- 61 per cent -- want the signed targets honoured.

Harper is trying to have it every which way, voting last week to support a BQ motion to meet Kyoto objectives while simultaneously trashing Kyoto.

Harper is willing to bring in hard caps on smog-causing pollution, but avoids GHG caps, not wanting to annoy tar-sands producers counting billions in profits in all-Tory Alberta.

"The government of Canada is the only government of 165 nations to officially announce we have no intentions of ever trying to reach our targets," says Green party leader Elizabeth May. "It's really very shameful."

Economists polled by the Canadian Press said the Harper government overstated Kyoto costs while claiming one of the world's "most aggressive" climate-change plans.

Denmark, for one, has far tougher carbon penalties, yet its economy continues to grow as GHGs come down faster than in Canada.

Dirty Canada Failing Global Test

CLIMATE CHANGE: Smart nations move as Canada's record worsens
James McNulty, The Province
Published: Sunday, January 28, 2007

The heat is on, and Canada is running cold. The Great White North is falling far behind the world's enlightened nations in the growing push to cut greenhouse-gas emissions hastening global warming.

As the Conference Board of Canada notes in a new report, Canada has the highest rate of increase in greenhouse-gas emissions of any G8 nation. The growth in emissions under Stephen Harper's Conservative government is even greater than that of the previous do-nothing Liberal regime.

The Conference Board, urging a cap on industrial emissions, warns that Canada would be "ill-advised to wait" and "risks being left behind" the United States, Europe and Japan in moving to a cleaner, greener economy.

Even the great climate-change skeptic George W. Bush, one of Harper's top ideological soulmates, has changed his tune from denial to urging conservation in gasoline use.

Ten major U.S. corporations, including General Electric, BP, DuPont, Duke Energy and Alcoa, joined environmental groups last week in urging Congress to "significantly reduce greenhouse-gas emissions" with mandatory caps and a carbon-trading market to speed the inevitable conversion to greener energy sources.

Canadian climate-change deniers falsely argue that there is no scientific consensus on global warming. In fact, there is consensus, to be demonstrated again this week in the latest UN report from top world scientists.

The need for action has never been clearer. Under Harper, Canada marches backwards.

Going 'green' makes eminent economic sense

Published: Thursday, February 01, 2007

I'm concerned about climate change and feel it's crucial our government takes urgent action.

It should commit to clean energy sources and reduce emission targets and guidelines as well as stop coal-fired power plants.

As an entrepreneur and a capitalist, I believe there is greater economic opportunity for all communities that pursue a greener path. B.C. has a chance to lead the country and the world by adopting policies that deal with climate change.

If we ignore climate change and work only to maintain the status quo, our economy and lifestyle will suffer rather than flourish.

See two recent related Green Party media releases on this here and here.

As many people expected, the GPC Green Plan Squared (pdf link) continues to be the most economically sound and the best plan currently around.

1 comment:

Cameron W said...

An interesting article:

ENERGY - Federal emissions plan just a ripple?; Minor impact on oilsands, say analysts

Source: The Calgary Herald - Lisa Schmidt

The federal government's plan to cut greenhouse gas emissions will have a marginal impact on Alberta's oilsands producers, but will still weigh on new projects faced with escalating costs, analysts said Friday...

..."The buzz surrounding the carbon tax has created a great deal of uncertainty within the sector -- but now we've got numbers we can sink our teeth into -- both provincial and federal and the impact of either is marginal," Justin Bouchard, an analyst with Raymond James, said in a note to investors Friday...

..."Any way you slice it, the impact of either system will be marginal on the oilsands sector and producers will be indifferent between the two," Bouchard noted.

Several oilsands producers posted gains on Friday after Norway's Statoil announced a $2.2-billion deal to acquire North American Oil Sands Corp., a private oilsands developer based in Calgary.

Shares of Suncor Energy Inc. rose $1.57 to $91.76 on the Toronto Stock exchange, while shares of Canadian Natural Resources Ltd. rose 84 cents to $67.60.