Monday, May 22, 2006

Kyoto Protocol or the "Asia-Pacific Partnership on Clean Development and Climate?"

Looking at the title you almost want to forget the troubled Kyoto and start the "Partnership on Clean Development and Climate". The latter sounds a lot better (sexier), but there are some real problems with this so-called "partnership". The big difference with the Kyoto Protocol is that there is no mandatory enforcement mechanism. Yes, reduction of greenhouse gas emissions is the goal of the partnership, but, no worries, just see what you can do and hope for the best; not much of a plan for the environment crisis we are currently in.

"We've been looking at the Asia-Pacific Partnership for a number of months now because the key principles around [it] are very much in line with where our government wants to go," Ambrose told reporters (source: CBC).

Well, at least Environment Minister Rona Ambrose is honest about where the current Government wants to go. But do Canadians want to go this way too? An Ipsos poll from 4 years ago showed that 74% of Canadians supported the Kyoto protocol. Many (75%) were also of the opinion that it is possible to develope an alternative that is just as effective but would cost the Canadian economy less.

PollutionBut the Asia Pacific Partnership isn't it. It's a cop out. Yes, we will make friends with the political elite of the US (Bush and his friends), but it will come at a huge environmental cost. Canada has seen the limits of Mother Earth before: In 1992 the cod fishery in Newfoundland led to the loss of 40.000 jobs in the industry (source: Greenpeace). This time it is greenhouse gases and global warming that are threating the future of us all. Are we continuing to work on a cleaner future through the Kyoto protocol, or are we turning our backs on the world community?

The world needs a long term solution. And it needs it quickly. Kyoto includes 163 countries, all committed to work (and economically pay) for a better environment though a protocol to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The plan is there. It might not be perfect for all economic concerns that Canada has but the alternative (sofar only The Asia Pacific Partnership) seems to be "nothing more than a nice little public relations ploy." (US Senator John McCain)

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