Canada has once again attracted attention for its environmental contempt. At Rio+20 Canada along with nations like Venezuela and Saudi Arabia tried to undermine a motion calling for a phasing out of fossil fuel subsidies. Even though the International Institute for Sustainable Development estimates that the federal government could save more than $1.3 billion per year if it phases out all of the existing subsidies for the oil and gas industries. Canada’s federal government is fighting hard to do all it can for dirty sources of energy while US President Barack Obama has called for an end to oil and coal subsidies, and the European Union has called for a firm commitment to phase-out of fossil fuels altogether.
One of the members leading Canada’s delegation to Rio was Keith Christie, an assistant deputy minister from the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade. Christie is also involved in Canada’s diplomatic efforts to promote the tar sands.
The Harper governments environmental insults go well beyond supporting the fossil fuel industry, amongst its many budget cuts, this government has terminated the National Round Table (NRT) and the Experimental Lakes Area (ELA).
It should come as no surprise that under the “stewardship” of Harper’s Conservatives Canada will not achieve its 2020 GHG emission reductions target.
Its unyielding support for the old energy economy and the gutting of environmental research and oversight make Canada an environmental pariah.
© 2012, Richard Matthews. All rights reserved.
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