Canada’s shameful performance in Bali

As many of you may know, a rather important conference is taking place this week in Bali, Indonesia. This is a United Nations Climate Change conference, and represents the gathering of representatives from over 180 countries, with hundreds of observers from inter- and non-governmental organizations. This is a crucial opportunity to discuss the time period during which countries are supposed to deliver on their commitments to the Kyoto Protocol. Furthermore, it is a chance to discuss what a ‘post-Kyoto’ agreement might look like – including such issues as binding targets for developed countries reaching further into the future and representing deeper GHG cuts, the negotiation of GHG reduction targets for developing countries, and who will shoulder the burden of the costs of adaptation.

In my humble opinion, Canada has, in the past, become known for taking relatively enlightened stances on environmental issues (as witnessed for instance by our work on the Montreal Protocol regulating ozone-depleting CFCs and our initial support of the Kyoto Protocol). Over the last couple of months, this scarce political capital and moral authority has been recklessly squandered by Rona Ambrose, Stephen Harper, and now finally John Baird (among others). We are quickly becoming known as the hypocritical roadblock standing in the way of international environmental negotiations, as we stall the process in Bali and refuse to accept binding GHG reduction targets. I encourage all to learn about the Canadian stance in these negotiations, and make your voices heard if you disagree. The following resources may help:

Check out the Bali Climate Change Conference website for more info on the progress of the negotiations.

Sign a petition to show your disgust with Canada standing in the way of effective climate change action.

And, as always, consider boning up on your knowledge of climate change causes and impacts by checking out the ever-changing website of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. The reports of all three working groups are now up and ready to be perused.

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A wildly interdisciplinary path has led Sarah to pursue her PhD through UBC's Institute for Resources, Environment and Sustainability. She gets riled about climate change, development, and equity issues, and any reference to P_ris Hi_ton. In her spare time, she cares for her rabbit (Stew) and composes self-congratulatory bios. (Sarah's intro post can be found here)