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Climate groups to Canada: Commit to Kyoto or stay home

Environment Minister Peter Kent refuses to say whether Canada has decided in advance of new international talks on climate change to withdraw its commitment to the Kyoto protocol.

“I'm neither confirming nor denying,” Mr. Kent told a news conference in Ottawa on Monday morning after news reports said the Conservative government, which has never embraced the agreement that was signed by its Liberal predecessors, would officially back away from the deal that it has ratified.

The Kyoto protocol was adopted at an international conference in Japan in 1997 and came into effect in 2005. It expires in 2012 and subsequent climate-change conferences in Copenhagen and Cancun, Mexico have failed to arrive at an agreement to replace it. So representatives of 195 countries are meeting in Durban, South Africa, this week to try to hammer out a global deal to reduce carbon emissions.
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Amid dire warming warnings, Canada is MIA

Later this month, the countries of the world will gather in Durban, South Africa, to discuss climate change. The omens for progress are poor; the forecast for global warming is worse.

So says the International Energy Agency, hardly a left-wing pinko organization but, rather, one that collects and analyzes information for energy-importing industrialized countries.

The IEA minced no words. “On planned policies, rising fossil-fuel energy use will lead to irreversible and potentially catastrophic climate change.”

“Irreversible and potentially catastrophic” are words not written lightly. They don’t come from the United Nations, the favourite target of the climate-change deniers and skeptics. They don’t pour forth from the David Suzuki Foundation, Greenpeace or the Sierra Club. Rather, they come from the blue chip of energy analysts, relied on by government and industry alike around the world.... Read more »

Tories bar opposition MPs from official delegation at climate talks

Opposition MPs had better hope for a seat sale if they want to go to the next round of international climate talks.

Environment Minister Peter Kent says opposition parties will not be part of Canada's official delegation at a UN-led meeting in South Africa this month.

So if they want to take the Tories to task, they will have to pay their own way.

“It's our government's decision with regards to this conference,” Mr. Kent said Wednesday.

Canada's delegation will include members of the governing Conservative Party, as well as business leaders and other experts.

Taxpayers will still pick up the tab for the official delegation, but Mr. Kent said the group will be smaller than in past years.

The Evironment Minister added that he does not see any value in bringing along his political rivals.... Read more »

Pipeline Options


ROBIN GILL: Good evening and thank you for joining us. It was supposed to create jobs for both Canada and the United States, but the proposed 2700-kilometre pipeline that would ship Alberta crude to market in the States has been stalled. The Keystone XL pipeline has become synonymous with controversy and now there's a new push to build another pipeline, this time through northern BC to much bigger markets across the Pacific. Mike Le Couteur has our top story tonight.... Read more »

Ottawa slammed for stand against Kyoto extension

Facing the danger of collapse in global climate negotiations, the host of the talks is making a hard-hitting appeal to the Harper government to abandon its opposition to an extension of the Kyoto Protocol.

A top diplomat from South Africa, host of a crucial round of United Nations climate negotiations this month, is attacking Canada in highly undiplomatic language for its refusal to consider extending the international commitments to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions.

As host, the South African government will preside over the climate negotiations at the seaside city of Durban, beginning on Nov. 28. It has been criticized for failing to act aggressively enough to cobble together a possible climate deal, but lately it has become more energetic, trying to prevent South Africa from becoming notorious as the burial ground for Kyoto.... Read more »

US could delay Keystone decision past 2012 election

(Reuters) - The United States may decide within weeks whether to pursue a new route for the Keystone XL Canada-to-Texas pipeline, a U.S. official said on Wednesday, a step that may delay a final decision on the politically sensitive project beyond the 2012 U.S. election.

Such a delay in TransCanada Corp's $7 billion pipeline could be a serious setback for a project considered the most important North American crude conduit in decades. A study of the environmental and other effects of a new route could take 12 to 18 months, the U.S. official told Reuters.

President Barack Obama's decision on the project is being scrutinized by environmentalists who oppose the project and by proponents who say it would create jobs, a central issue in his 2012 re-election campaign.
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Canada’s climate change plan to fall short, new study says

Federal and provincial programs to cut greenhouse gas emissions won’t even get Canada half of the way toward meeting the reduction targets that have been set for 2020.

But the fact that they will even go that far is being presented as a sign of progress in a new report. Such are the low expectations surrounding the policies to tackle global warming in the country.

The study, by the International Institute for Sustainable Development, a respected, non-partisan environmental think-tank, suggests Canada is on track to cut out 103 megatonnes of greenhouse gases by 2020. That works out to 46 per cent of the emissions reduction goal that Prime Minister Stephen Harper has set for the country.

The gap is equal to 120 megatonnes of greenhouse gas emissions, says the report by Dave Sawyer, the institute’s climate change director.
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New coal regulations called weak

Environmental groups say more than 5,000 people have written to the federal government demanding tougher rules for coal-fired power plants.

Wednesday marked the end of a 60-day period for public comments on new regulations that will govern those power plants in the future.

The rules have been controversial because they won't kick in until July, 2015 and apply only to coal-fired power plants built after that date.

Environmental groups said at a press conference Thursday the proposed regulations are too "weak" and will do very little to move Canada towards its greenhouse gas emissions targets.... Read more »

Canadian Environmental Network blind-sided by elimination of core funding

The Canadian Environmental Network is reeling from the elimination of its core funding by Environment Canada, and last week the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency told the Committee on the Environment and Sustainable Development that it’s bracing for a 43 per cent cut to its budget for 2012-2013. Green Party leader Elizabeth May (Saanich-Gulf Islands, B.C.) says the government is waging war on the environment.

The Canadian Environmental Network, which has facilitated communication between the federal government and community-based environmental groups for over three decades, was notified that it would lose its core federal funding of $547,000 next year.
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Environmental network forced to close doors afer 34 years

A 34-year-old national environmental network that has served as a link between people and the federal government shut its doors Friday afternoon after Environment Canada cut its funding.

The Canadian Environmental Network was told Thursday that its funding from the federal government won't be renewed.

"It was a real kick in the pants," said Dan Casselman, the group's senior national caucus co-ordinator.

"If they'd given us some warning we might have had time to find money somewhere else."

The network acted as a link between 640 small environmental groups across the country and the federal government. In the past, if Ottawa needed advice on policies or new laws it would ask the network for input. The organization would then help the various smaller groups discuss issues and take part in formal consultations across the country.
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