Will the Throne Speech mention climate change? - Macleans.ca

Will the Throne Speech mention climate change?

Or have we have forgotten about “perhaps the biggest threat to confront the future of humanity today”


We are less than a week away now from the Throne Speech. One of its central themes will apparently be “supporting and protecting families.” And apparently there will be a “consumers first” agenda.

It was once reasonable to expect that it might also include some reference to greenhouse gas emissions and climate change.

Here’s what the 2006 speech promised.

Over the course of its mandate, and starting with the clear priorities set out today, the Government will work diligently to build a record of results … It will take measures to achieve tangible improvements in our environment, including reductions in pollution and greenhouse gas emissions.

And 2007.

Climate change is a global issue and requires a global solution. Our Government believes strongly that an effective global approach to greenhouse gas emissions must have binding targets that apply to all major emitters, including Canada . Canada has already engaged the international community at APEC, the G8 and the United Nations and will continue to press for a new international agreement that cuts global emissions in half by 2050.

As we pursue a global consensus, Canada is acting even more aggressively at home. Our Government will implement our national strategy to reduce Canada ‘s total greenhouse gas emissions 60 to 70 percent by 2050. There will be a 20 percent reduction by 2020. Our Government will bring forward the elements from Canada ‘s Clean Air Act, which had all-party consensus, for parliamentary consideration.

This strategy will institute binding national regulations on greenhouse gas emissions across all major industrial sectors — with requirements for emissions reductions starting this year. Our Government will also bring forward the first-ever national air pollution regulations. In so doing, our Government will put Canada at the forefront of clean technologies to reduce air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. Our Government will also establish a carbon emissions trading market that will give business the incentive to run cleaner, greener operations.

At the end of 2005, Canada ‘s greenhouse gas emissions were 33 percent above the Kyoto commitment. It is now widely understood that, because of inaction on greenhouse gases over the last decade, Canada ‘s emissions cannot be brought to the level required under the Kyoto Protocol within the compliance period, which begins on January 1, 2008, just 77 days from now.

The world is moving on to address climate change and the environment, and Canada intends to help lead the effort at home and abroad.

And 2008.

Our Government understands that Canada ‘s economic prosperity cannot be sustained without a healthy environment, just as environmental progress cannot be achieved without a healthy economy. Our Government will continue its realistic, responsible approach to addressing the challenge of climate change.

Our Government has committed to reducing Canada ‘s total greenhouse gas emissions by 20 percent by 2020. We will meet this goal while also ensuring that Canada ‘s actions going forward remain comparable to what our partners in the United States , Europe and other industrialized countries undertake. We will work with the provincial governments and our partners to develop and implement a North America-wide cap and trade system for greenhouse gases and an effective international protocol for the post-2012 period.

To meet the challenge posed by climate change, we will also need to make greater use of technologies that do not emit greenhouse gases. Our Government will set an objective that 90 percent of Canada ‘s electricity needs be provided by non-emitting sources such as hydro, nuclear, clean coal or wind power by 2020. In support of this ambitious national goal, our Government will continue to provide support for biofuels, wind and other energy alternatives.

And 2010.

Our Government will continue to invest in clean energy technologies. It will review energy-efficiency and emissions-reduction programs to ensure they are effective…

Nowhere is a commitment to principled policy, backed by action, needed more than in addressing climate change. Our Government has advocated for an agreement that includes all the world’s major greenhouse gas emitters, for that is the only way to actually reduce global emissions. And it has pursued a balanced approach to emissions reduction that recognizes the importance of greening the economy for tomorrow and protecting jobs today.

The Copenhagen Accord reflects these principles and is fully supported by the Government of Canada. Together with other industrialized countries, Canada will provide funding to help developing economies reduce their emissions and adapt to climate change. Here at home, our Government will continue to take steps to fight climate change by leading the world in clean electricity generation. And recognizing our integrated continental economic links, our Government will work to reduce emissions through the Canada-U.S. clean energy dialogue launched last year with President Obama’s administration.

The 2011 speech though contains not a single use of word “emissions” or the phrase “climate change.”

Two years later, oil-and-gas regulations are twice overdue, the Copenhagen target is hanging over the government’s head, the President of the United States is throwing shade and Mr. Harper’s government is appealing for cooperation (and possibly guidance) from the Americans.

The Prime Minister did once venture that climate change was “perhaps the biggest threat to confront the future of humanity today.” And if the Conservatives are stuck for ideas, they might note that they have two unused proposals to create a carbon market that they could copy-and-paste from previous Throne Speeches. There’s also a new report from the OECD which suggests an explicit price on carbon has merit.

A new commitment in the Throne Speech could even be rolled into the new oil sands advertising campaign.


Will the Throne Speech mention climate change?

  1. There better be mention of climate change – the leaves are altering colour, it’s getting darker earlier and earlier and it is colder at nights, the climate is changing right before our eyes!

    If the rate of change keeps up, we are going to all freeze to death in the dark so very soon.

    • you could sound dumber, but it wouldn’t be easy

      • Oh, jwl can sound a LOT dumber than that.

    • Hate to say it, but its probably more advisable that you stick with your standard procedure of copying and pasting quotes that have at best a tenuous link to the subject at hand.

    • Wow you read a blog by a business reporter. I guess that means all the scientists can go home now.

      • The planet has not warmed for 16 years and Arctic ice increased by 60% (scientist’s reports).
        Don’t have to be a scientist to figure out that global warming isn’t happening. It’s and inconvenient truth.

  2. Will the Throne Speech mention climate change?

    Maybe just to laugh at it.

    CLOLimate change

  3. Climate change from our Know-Nothing party?…not a chance. They are waiting for the US Confederacy to return, and will hopefully secede to join it.

  4. The Throne Speech itself will contain enough hot air to cause a measurable uptick in global warming.

    • Hah! You were here first. By minutes.

      • And you both took the words outta my mouth. That’s two for two by neuroticdog this afternoon…

  5. Talking about promising about doing something is the CPC’s contribution. More hot air.

  6. Notice that there are a lot of “libertarian types” who seem to think that there is a vast anti-business conspiracy being pursued by the world’s scientific community. (!)

    Climate change is caused by, and is a subset of – Global Pollution. There is what World War III should be about – eliminating pollution of the land, oceans and atmosphere. Everyone should be on the same side here, as we are *all* victims. The Earth will continue just fine without us – but if we want to remain here, we should get our act together, like *now* – that is, if the horse hasn’t already bolted the stable.

    • I don’t believe governments will get serious about climate change until the massive international insurance industry starts to feel the pain of multiple, recurrent natural calamities around the globe. Only big corporate finance has the clout to get governments’ undivided attention on this file.

  7. Y2Kyoto; The Reefer Madness of Climate Blame

    AL GORE is my shepherd; I shall not think.

    He maketh me lie down in Greenzi pastures:

    He leadeth me beside the still-freezing waters.

    He selleth my soul for CO2:

    He leadeth me in the paths of self-righteousness for his own sake.

    Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of reason,

    I will fear all logic: for thou art with me and thinking for me;

    Thy Gore’s family oil fortune and thy 10,000 square Gorey foot mansion, they comfort me.

    Thou preparest a movie in the presence of contradictory evidence:

    Thou anointest mine head with nonsense; my mindless conformity runneth over.

    Surely blind faith and hysteria shall follow me all the days of my life:and I will dwell in the house of ALGORE forever.

  8. All believers should make themselves open to criminal charges for uttering CO2 death threats to billions of helpless children to their greenhouse gas ovens of their exaggerated crisis when a court of law proves climate change to be the exaggeration that it is.
    Science has never been certain enough to call it an inevitable crisis, just a “could be” crisis so maybe you believers should stop fear mongering like neocons.
    Do as science does; NEVER say a crisis WILL happen, only could.

  9. “….perhaps the biggest threat to confront the future of humanity today”
    For the Harperites, that would be the failure to win the next election. Life would be meaningless without millions of Canadian lives to micromanage and screw up.

  10. Both deniers and believers agree on one thing; the 30 year old scientific consensus wasn’t of certainty as science has only agreed on nothing beyond “could be” and have never agreed or said any crisis was inevitable or eventual.
    Prove me wrong, or is threatening our children with needless CO2 panic the way you progressives want to be known?
    You don’t have to believe in this “maybe” crisis and since science has NEVER said a crisis WILL happen, only could happen why are YOU remaining believers saying it will happen?
    Find us one scientific paper that says anything close to “inevitable” or “unavoidable” like scientists love to say comet hits are.
    Science did not lie, YOU did!

  11. You remaining believers don’t love the planet,you hate humanity for why would you work so hard at wanting to believe in this Reefer Madness of Climate Blame?
    What has to happen now after 30 years of a “maybe” crisis for science to end this costly debate to SAVE THE PLANET and silence the deniers with a real consensus for a real crisis. We need science to change their consensus of “could be” to a consensus of WILL be otherwise the needed support for CO2 mitigation is impossible.

    Science can say comet hits are real but climate change “crisis” isn’t as real and eventual and inevitable as a comet hit is?

    And get up to date liberalism for this was YOUR Iraq War without a real enemy:

    *Occupywallstreet now does not even mention CO2 in its list of demands because of the bank-funded and corporate run carbon trading stock markets ruled by trusted politicians.

  12. Why do you remaining believers want to believe in this CO2 misery? Do you hate Harper that much that you would fear monger your own children? Who’s the neocon again here?

    • Plants love it. What are you afraid of?

  13. Global temperatures have been constant for 17 years. There is no reason to talk about it.

  14. Example of a Environmental Report applied to politics: Whichever Liberal acting as Leader manages maybe to be elected it might be a colder day in Hell.

    Anybody who doubts these findings will be challenged to a Hockey Stick Duel.

  15. The comments on this thread are terribly discouraging. In the face of all recent evidence to the contrary, a majority of Canadians still maintain a quasi-religious belief in anthropogenic global warming and now, the latest fad, direct correlation between global warming and all types of extreme weather events.

    It’s ironic that Paul Wells’ piece on the study noting low standards of Canadian numerancy and basic science appears in the same issue of Maclean’s. People who are deficient in mathematic skills and scientific knowledge can’t think logically and are easy prey for charlatans like Gore, Suzuki and Mann.

  16. The same alarmists who declared that the earth was in peril now report that warming is actually half that of earlier reports, and will be a benefit to the planet and it’s inhabitants.
    And the Arctic ice increased by 60% (NASA report last month), alarmists assured us it would be gone by 2014.
    Australia just tossed their cap and trade scheme.
    David Suzuki owns 4 houses, one worth over $8M and one is co-owned with an oil company.
    How can we take this issue seriously anymore.

    • Worse yet for them, warming has declined not to half, but to zero.

  17. When will science agree it WILL be, not just “could ” be a crisis? It’s been 30 years!

  18. They absolutely should NOT mention climate change. The only people concerned with it anymore are the “true believers” who scream “the science is settled!” despite all the evidence that contradicts their histrionics.

    Rational people would like to see more research done, but until there is some actual certainty, there’s nothing much the government can do to fight a problem if we don’t know it exists or how to combat it. Liberals would like to be seen doing something, even if it’s actually doing nothing. I hope our government takes the more adult approach and continues to do research as necessary.

  19. OH MY GOD! Get up to date people!

    *Occupywallstreet now does not even mention CO2 in its list of demands because of the bank-funded and corporate run carbon trading stock markets ruled by politicians.

    *Canada killed Y2Kyoto with a freely elected climate change denying prime minister and nobody cared, especially the millions of scientists warning us of unstoppable warming (a comet hit).

    Prove me wrong:
    *Science never DID say it WILL happen, only “could” and for 30 years! Not one IPCC warning says it WILL happen or is “inevitable” or “eventual”. So why are YOU saying it WILL be a crisis?

  20. Can we agree to disagree that “maybe” is good enough for you believers and news editors to condemn our children and not good enough for us deniers. Deal?