Canada abandons Kyoto

Climate heroes

But, but, but… Kyoto was so successful at reducing emissions! Not.

Canada has become the first country to announce it will officially pull out of the Kyoto accord on reducing greenhouse gases.

Canadian environment minister Peter Kent said it was not economically feasible for Canada to continue under the rules of the Kyoto agreement in 2012.

He made the announcement two hours after returning to Ottawa from the climate talks in Durban, where countries agreed to extend Kyoto for five years and hammer out a new deal forcing all big polluters for the first time to limit greenhouse gas emissions.

Canada, a major energy producer which critics complain is becoming a climate renegade, has long complained Kyoto is unworkable precisely because it excludes so many significant emitters.

“As we’ve said, Kyoto for Canada is in the past … We are invoking our legal right to formally withdraw from Kyoto,” Mr Kent told reporters.

He said the decision would save the government $14 billion a year in penalties and blamed what he called an incompetent Liberal government that signed the accord but then took little action to make the necessary emissions cuts.

“To meet the targets under Kyoto for 2012 would be the equivalent of either removing every car, truck, all-terrain vehicle, tractor, ambulance, police car and vehicle off every kind of Canadian road,” Mr Kent said.

He said the Kyoto accord was “an impediment” to finding a real solution to climate change because it does not include the world’s largest emitters, China and the United States. (source)

Climate sense from the Canadians. We envy you here in the country of climate madness.

Carbon trading "a pyramid marketing scheme"

John Baird - climate sense

So says John Baird, Canadian Foreign Minister. Greg Sheridan writes in The Australian:

The Conservative government of which he is part, under Prime Minister Stephen Harper, won an absolute majority for the first time at the last election on the platform of rejecting a carbon tax or an emissions trading scheme.

Australian policy should pay a lot more attention to Canada, for no other economy is so similarly structured to ours. Baird is a good friend of Australia, feels warmly towards the Gillard government, and speaks glowingly of his friendship with Kevin Rudd. He explicitly did not criticise Australian policy. But the implications of his words are deadly.

The fact that both Canada and the US have rejected a carbon tax or ETS, and that China, India and Indonesia equally will never go down such a road, means there is no prospect of global action on climate change anything like that which Australia is taking. Baird believes that neither Canada nor the US will ever implement a carbon tax or an ETS.

But it is his judgment on the international carbon trading system that is most devastating for the Gillard government’s approach. I asked Baird whether Canada would ever join an international carbon trade. He replied: “There’s nothing to join. Where is it going on today?”

More generally, on carbon trading he said: “One of the problems I have with that (approach) is that everyone just lines up to get credit. My province has a lot of trees, where do we get credit for that? We had an enhanced oil recovery project that pumps carbon into oil wells to get an additional 15 per cent of oil out of them and we had a pipeline importing carbon from the US. So they wanted to get credit for sequestration.

“I said to them ‘You’re not even doing it in our country.’ They said ‘We’re doing something good, we want the credits.’

“(Carbon trading) is like a pyramid marketing scheme. You don’t have to actually sell the dog food, you just have to get 10 of your friends to do it and you’ll get royalties.”

Sheridan’s conclusion is spot on:

“the international trading scheme [in GHGs] lies halfway between a fantasy and a fraud and is never going to make a serious contribution to diminishing greenhouse gases.”

Read it here.

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