Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Trudeau knows climate deal’s a fraud


Trudeau knows 

climate deal’s a fraud


lorrie-goldstein
BY TORONTO SUN
FIRST POSTED: Justin Trudeau


French President Francois Hollande (2nd R), French Foreign Affairs Minister Laurent Fabius (L) and United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon (2nd L) welcome Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau (R) as he arrives for the opening day of the World Climate Change Conference 2015 (COP21) at Le Bourget, near Paris, France, on November 30, 2015. REUTERS/Christian Hartmann





When Prime Minister Justin Trudeau ceremonially signs the United Nations' Paris climate treaty in New York on Friday, it will be the same farce that occurred when Prime Minister Jean Chretien signed the UN’s Kyoto climate treaty in 1998.
At that time, Chretien knew Canada couldn't achieve the industrial greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reduction targets he was agreeing to -- confirmed by his top political aide Eddie Goldenberg in 2007, after the Liberals lost power in 2006.
Trudeau knows it, too.
According to the federal government’s most likely scenario of Canada’s fossil fuel energy use, we would have to cut our emissions by 146 megatonnes (Mt) annually by 2020 and by 291 Mt annually by 2030, to fulfill our UN commitment.
A 146 Mt cut by 2020 would mean shutting down the equivalent of Canada’s agriculture sector (75 Mt) and most of our emission-intensive and trade-exposed industries (76 Mt), in less than five years.
A 291 Mt cut by 2030 would mean shutting down the equivalent of the oil and gas sector (179 Mt), the agricultural sector (75 Mt) and half the electricity sector (42.5 Mt) in less than 15 years.
Suggesting emission cuts of this magnitude -- which the Stephen Harper government agreed to, since Trudeau hasn’t changed them -- can be accomplished within these time frames is politically dishonest.
B.C. Premier Christy Clark and Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne have told the federal government there’s no point in imposing deeper emission cuts on Canada than Harper’s because Canada isn’t meeting those.
B.C. has what is considered to be one of the world’s best carbon taxes. The B.C. government estimates it will reduce emissions by 3 Mt annually by 2020.
Ontario will introduce cap-and-trade carbon pricing next year with the very optimistic goal of reducing emissions by 15 Mt annually by 2020.
That means to meet Canada’s 2020 goal, the rest of the country has to reduce emissions by 128 Mt annually in less than five years, which is complete nonsense.
Trudeau will be one of many national leaders on Friday signing an unenforceable treaty they know they will never implement.
Even if they did implement it, all it would do according to climate scientists is lock the world into global temperature increases double what they say is the point of no return.
The difference between Harper and Trudeau is that Harper knew the UN process was a farce and, while paying occasional lip service to it, also showed his contempt for it.
Trudeau, by contrast, understands, as George Monbiot writes in Heat: How to Stop the Planet from Burning, that, “we wish our governments to pretend to act”, while not actually reducing industrial GHG emissions because the cost to our economy would be too great.
Rather, “we want tough targets, but ... we also want those targets to be missed.”
That’s why as soon as he won power, Trudeau announced that “Canada is back” on climate change and sent a huge delegation of more than 300 people to last year’s UN climate conference in Paris, twice the size of the American one and three time the size of the U.K.’s.
Trudeau will also throw billions of tax dollars at so-called green infrastructure projects that don’t actually reduce emissions, and allow the provinces free rein on carbon pricing.
But to actually lower emissions to the levels he’ll agree to at the UN signing ceremony on Friday? Don’t be absurd.