Cutting too deep

Canada and Russia back away from G8’s greenhouse gas emission targets

Just as G8 leaders were putting the finishing touches on an ambitious plan to cut greenhouse gas emissions, Canadian officials were busying themselves finding ways to back out of it. The G8 plan calls for developed countries to cut their emissions by 80 per cent by 2050, but the Conservatives’ “made-in-Canada” plan instead calls for cuts of 60-70 per cent by then. Environment Minister Jim Prentice quickly made it clear the G8 target wouldn’t usurp his government’s, saying Canada “[doesn’t] need to change its policies” and dismissing the stricter target as “aspirational.” A Russian official echoed Canada’s concerns, saying his country would not “sacrifice our economic growth” and would instead focus on reducing emissions by 20-60 per cent by 2050. Meanwhile, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon criticized the G8 target as insufficient. “The policies that they have stated so far are not enough,” Ban said. “It’s not sufficient enough to meet the target as scientists on climate change have suggested.”

Canwest News Service

CBC News