Thursday, July 4, 2013

Canadian Environment Minister: Fossil Awards are "Worn with Honour"

Canada has been awarded the “Fossil of the Year” award for its inaction on climate change for five consecutive years. However, Environment Minister Peter Kent does not seem to care, quite the contrary he claims to be proud of the dubious distinction, saying that saying that “some of those awards are worn with honour.”

The award, which is meant to be a badge of shame, was given to Canada at the 2011 UN climate change conference in Durban, South Africa. In 2012, it shared the award with New Zealand.

Kent was reacting to Al Gore’s comments about Canada’s tarsands development, who said that Canada is treating the Earth's atmosphere like an open sewer. Despite warnings from climate scientists, a leading Canadian economist and other, Canada continue to expand the tarsands and work on finding new markets.

A 2013 report made it clear that the Canadian government will have to regulate the oil and gas sector if it is to meet its GHG targets. '

Environmentalists have a long list of grievances with the ruling Canadian Conservative government including Canada’s withdrawal from the Kyoto Protocol and the UN efforts to combat desertification.

During its reign the ruling Conservatives have gutted publicly funded environmental oversight. Perhaps the most destructive dimension of Canadian federal policy is the government’s support for the fossil fuel industry and the expanison of the tarsands in particular.

As explained by Thomas Mulcair the leader of the official opposition, under Conservative rule Canada has lost all its credibility on environmental matters.

Green Party Leader Elizabeth May said, “The destruction of Canadian environmental laws is making us the object of global scorn.”

Canada is increasingly at odds with the rest of the world on efforts to combat climate change. With the recent release of President Obama's climate action plan this issue is even more pressing. It remains to be seen how long the country can continue with its anti-environment policies.

Since the Conservatives came to power, Canada's inaction on climate change is a source of national shame.

© 2013, Richard Matthews. All rights reserved.

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