Friday, May 4, 2012

Report: Canadian Government is Not Helping Business Prepare for Climate Change

The Canadian government needs to do a better job disseminating climate change information to companies. Governments also need to be more mindful of how critical infrastructure will be affected by climate change, and make this information available to firms. This is the conclusion of a report from the National Round Table. The report also says that governments need to anticipate climate-related market failures and be ready to step in when necessary.

As reported on Global News, officials for Environment Minister Peter Kent tried to minimize the impact of the report saying the round table's work was readily available elsewhere. Roundtable president David McLaughlin contradicted these remarks saying, "this is new and original information that we're putting out." The report includes systematic research with the sophisticated modeling.

Most experts and even the Office of the Auditor General believe Ottawa is not on track to meet its 2020 emissions targets. This shortfall is expected to be clearly quantified in a forthcoming report by the Roundtable.

For its part the ruling Conservative government just want the Roundtable to go away. The most recent federal budget announced that the Roundtable's funding will be taken away at the end of the year.

The government of Prime Minister Stephen Harper has repeatedly shown their contempt for environmental oversight. Given the Roundtable's role assessing the environment's effects on the economy, it should come as no surprise that the Tories want to eliminate the advisory and research group.

However, until its funding runs out McLaughlin says he will continue to issue reports as usual, detailing how climate change is affecting the economy, and what governments and business should do about it.

© 2012, Richard Matthews. All rights reserved.

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