Canada’s U.N. climate-summit announcement: Follow the U.S.

Rather than the requested bold commitments, Canada’s two decrees at the United Nations borrow heavily from Barack Obama’s policies


UNITED NATIONS — Barack Obama didn’t just make announcements for his own country at a United Nations climate summit Tuesday — he got to make Canada’s, too.

Canada made two main commitments at the summit, where countries were urged to bring bold policies to fight climate change. And both borrow heavily from industrial regulations the U.S. president has already set in motion.

One was to match American vehicle-emissions standards. The other, to curb the use of HFC coolants — several days after the White House announced plans for executive orders, and convened a meeting of business leaders who’ve committed to slashing hydrofluorocarbons by 80 per cent by 2050.

Both of those things came up in passing in the president’s speech to the conference, among the list of measures he’d already announced. In that speech, he also announced plans to incorporate climate-change considerations into U.S. foreign-development projects, and referred to his far more controversial executive order to regulate the highest-polluting sector in the U.S., old power plants.

He urged everyone else to get moving on a post-2015 treaty, in remarks that appeared to be aimed primarily at the Chinese.

“Nobody gets a pass,” Obama said.

“The emerging economies that have experienced some of the most dynamic growth in recent years have also emitted rising levels of carbon pollution. It is those emerging economies that are likely to produce more and more carbon emissions in the years to come.

“So nobody can stand on the sidelines on this issue. We have to set aside the old divides.”

He also made a specific reference to an effort made in Canada — although that reference was to the 1987 Montreal Protocol, which he said would help guide new efforts against fast-rising and potent HFCs.

Obama spoke just after noon. About five hours later, Canada’s environment minister said her government would be releasing details soon on a plan to reduce hydrofluorocarbons.

“Let me be clear, Canada is fully committed to achieving a strong and effective global climate agreement in Paris next year,” said the prepared text of Leona Aglukkaq’s remarks.

“Both domestically and internationally we are demonstrating this commitment. We are not waiting to act. We are taking decisive action to ensure Canada remains a leader and contributes its part to this global cause.”

Prime Minister Stephen Harper arrived in New York later in the day for three days of events at the UN and with business leaders.

Before speaking at the UN General Assembly on Thursday, Harper will appear at an event with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on maternal health. On that issue, he’s received praise from the UN for corralling international support to reduce newborn deaths.

On the climate issue, the plaudits have been a little more sparse: “So nice of him to show up,” one UN staffer cracked within the earshot of Canadian media, upon hearing that the prime minister was headed to town later in the day.

There were a number of announcements at Tuesday’s climate summit — but also ample evidence of the multi-directional, international fingerpointing that has hampered greenhouse gas reduction efforts.

One particularly colourful example came from Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, who scolded wealthy polluting countries for causing an “evil of such planetary dimensions” and then trying to offload their responsibilities on developing countries.

Just after Obama spoke, Chinese Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli said the world should treat developing countries — including his — differently when imposing climate rules.

That being said, China also promised to reduce its emissions per GDP ratio by 45 per cent by 2020, using a 2005 baseline. That wouldn’t result in an actual decrease, because China’s economy has grown so rapidly. Environmentalist groups at the conference, however, saluted the pledge as going beyond anything China had previously committed to doing.

The UN also endorsed a call for putting a price on carbon. The idea, led by the World Bank, has the support of 73 countries including China and Russia, and more than 1,000 businesses including six oil companies.

It has not received the endorsement of either Canada or the U.S., where a cap-and-trade system or carbon tax stand virtually no chance of getting adopted by Congress. That’s what has prompted Obama to proceed with administrative regulations wherever possible, much to the consternation of critics who accuse him of overstepping his constitutional authority.

Seven U.S. states and three Canadian provinces did sign onto the World Bank commitment: Alberta, B.C. and Quebec.


Canada’s U.N. climate-summit announcement: Follow the U.S.

  1. Again….Harp is all talk, no cattle

  2. Monday saw a large march of global warming supporters through the streets of Manhattan–even the UN Secretary General and the Mayor of New York joined the ‘fun”. I wonder, however what the politicians and the marchers really know about what they are marching for? It is seriously doubtful they have done anything more than listen to the scary speeches of the global warming proponents.

    So to make it easier for them, I have created a list of eight facts about global warming, to which those folks making the scary cannot respond. Everything below is a fact and I invite the folks who marched in Monday’s ‘parade’ to come up with a response, and if they can’t they can ask the parade organizers to respond. I will print every response as long as it deals with the facts below.

    1) Through September first of 2014- The Earth hasn’t warmed in 17 Years And 11 Months. Heartland Institute analyst, Peter Ferrara, notes“If you look at the record of global temperature data, you will find that the late 20th Century period of global warming actually lasted about 20 years, from the late 1970s to the late 1990s. Before that, the globe was dominated by about 30 years of global cooling, giving rise in the 1970s to media discussions of the return of the Little Ice Age (circa 1450 to 1850), or worse.” So there was thirty years of cooling followed by 20 years of warming and almost 18 years of cooling…and that’s what the global warming scare is all about.

    2) Antarctic Sea Ice is at record levels and the Arctic ice cap has seen record growth. But to get around those facts, the global warming enthusiasts are claiming that global warming causes global cooling (really).

    3) Carbon Dioxide (CO2)is not a pollutant, it’s what you exhale and it is what “feeds” plants. Without CO2 there would not be a single blade of grass or a redwood tree, nor would there be the animal life that depends on vegetation; wheat and rice, for example, as food.

    4) There is not ONE climate computer model that has accurately connected CO2 to climate change. In fact CO2 is at its highest levels in 13,000 years and the earth hasn’t warmed in almost 18 years. Approximately 12,750 years ago before big cars and coal plants CO2 levels were higher than today. And during some past ice ages levels were up to 20x today’s levels.

    5) Even with the relatively high levels there is very little CO2 in the atmosphere. At 78% nitrogen is the most abundant gas in the Earth’s atmosphere. Oxygen is the second most abundant gas-of-life in the atmosphere at 21%. Water vapor is the third most abundant gas-of-life in the atmosphere; it varies up to 5%. Exhale freely because carbon dioxide is the least abundant gas in the atmosphere at 0.04%.

    6) You are more likely to see the tooth fairy or a unicorn than a 97% consensus of scientists believing that there is man-made global warming. The number is a convenient fraud. Investigative journalists at Popular Technology reported the 97% Study falsely classifies scientists’ papers, according to the scientists that published them . A more extensive examination of the Cook study reported that out of the nearly 12,000 scientific papers Cook’s team evaluated, only 65 endorsed Cook’s alarmist position. That is less than 0.97%. How did they come up with 97%? Well out of all the scientists who had a definite opinion, 97% agreed there was global warming and it was the fault of mankind. And how did the Cook folks determine which scientists believed what? They didn’t ask, they read papers written by these scientists and came up with their own opinion.

    7) I changed my mind…this past February, Patrick Moore, a Canadian ecologist, and the co-founder of Greenpeace, the militant environmental group told members of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee “There is no scientific proof that human emissions of carbon dioxide are the dominant cause of the minor warming of the Earth’s atmosphere over the past 100 years.” There are more like Moore.

    8) Back to Ice Age– predictions. If my Mom of blessed memory were still alive, she would tell me to run out to the store and purchase heavy sweaters and a extra warm winter coat. In fact after reading this story she would issue a major Jewish Mother Sweater Alert all because there is new evidence that the Earth may be heading toward an ice age (please stop crying Mr. Gore).

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