Please tell us it was a hoax
Denmark - A man who we hope was posing as Environment Minister Jim Prentice gave a speech at the climate change negotiations Thursday night. The 100 presidents and prime ministers present were expecting Prime Minister Harper to represent Canada at the podium, but he was nowhere to been seen at the site of the negotiations. It was a repeat of his performance last summer when he ducked out of climate negotiations to do a photo-op at a Tim Horton's - which is hard find in Copenhagen.
The speech by Minister Prentice was devoid of substance although it did mimic the language of environmental activists using the words "fair," "effective," and "comprehensive." It also contained a veiled threat to torpedo the talks by saying, "A new global agreement should consist of a single, comprehensive undertaking."
The negotiations follow two tracks: One, under the Kyoto Protocol which has legally binding targets; and one, under the Members of the Parties which includes the United States. The developing countries have been adamant that the legal binding Kyoto Protocol continue. So, any agreement including the US must at least in part come under the MOP. Canada was telling the developing countries to forget about the Protocol - a position the developing countries will never accept and rightly so.
Was Canada picking a fight in polite langauge? Likely, especially in light of Mr. Prentice's failure to announce the rumoured financial commitment to support developing countries for mitigation and adaptation.
So what are Steve and Jimmy (if it was really him) up to? Quite simply, failure that can be blamed on others. Let's hope really really hard that their plan fails and, pushed into a very small corner, Canada signs a good agreement.
Now all together, hope!
You could also call the PMO...I have it on speed dial.