Trudeau Liberals and the Environment

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mark_alfred
Trudeau Liberals and the Environment

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mark_alfred

Here's a clip from the first question period (today, December 7, 2015) that includes a couple of questions on the environment for Trudeau from Mulcair (after a couple of questions from Ambrose). 

http://www.cbc.ca/player/play/2680040156

The first question is whether the Liberals will agree to pass something like the Climate Change Accountability Act.  This is something that the Liberals did support back when Dion was leader.  But now Trudeau rejects the idea.  It shows how much more right-wing the Liberals have become.

The second question is about whether ongoing evironmental assessments of things like pipelines will include greenhouse gas impacts, given statements from his environment minister that suggest they may not.  Trudeau is so shaken by the question that he stammers his line about "protected environment and strong economy" and then buries his head in his paper and just reads at lightning speed a bunch of environmental themed non-sequitors.  The question is never answered.  See the transcript below:

Here's the transcript:

Mulcair:  Canadians are proud to see a change in tone on climate change but they're also hoping that the change in tone will also provide a concrete change in direction.  Once it finally decides on Canada's targets will this government finally decide to make them binding by enshrining them into a climate change accountability law here at home?

Trudeau:  One of the things my honourable colleague seems to forget from time to time is that Canada is a federation with ten provinces that all have different approaches and different requirements and we have committed to sit down and engage with those provinces and listen to them and work out not just targets but a plan that is going to ensure that Canada meets its international and domestic obligations to reduce climate emissions and develop a strong economy.

Mulcair:  I thought he just said they have a plan.  ...  During the campaign the Liberal leader said he would, quote, restore robust oversight and thorough environmental assessments.  But last week the environment minister said that projects initiated under the Conservative system will, quote, continue on that path.  Can the Prime Minister reveal whether pipelines for example now under review will undergo a thorough assessment that includes greenhouse gas impacts?  Or will they simply continue to use the woefully inadequate assessment system left by the Conservatives?

Trudeau:  It's very clear Mr. Speaker that Canadians know we need both a strong environment and protected uh strong economy and strong environment at the same time.  That's why Canadians want a system environmental assessment that they can trust -- we will launch a public review and we will make the changes needed to restore public confidence in the environmental assessment of natural resource projects.  We will modernize the national energy board to ensure that its composition reflects regional views and has sufficient expertise in environmental science, in community development and indigenous traditional knowledge.

Aristotleded24

mark_alfred wrote:
Here's a clip from the first question period (today, December 7, 2015) that includes a couple of questions on the environment for Trudeau from Mulcair (after a couple of questions from Ambrose).

Not that I agreed with her, but Ambrose also beat him up over ISIS pretty badly. No wonder the Liberals don't want Trudeau to face QP.

mark_alfred

He was a bit better with her questions.  He didn't stammer, and wasn't burying his head into a paper.  But yeah, he did start rambling toward the end of his answer.  He was okay in presentation in the first question with Mulcair, but the second one he lost it.  In substance, as I mentioned above, he revealed how truly right-wing the Liberals have moved when it comes to the environment compared to where they were in the past.

swallow swallow's picture

In fact, the proposed Climate Change Accountability Act received Liberal party support as recently as March 2015. [url=http://environmentaldefence.ca/blog/ndp-liberals-and-greens-agree-approa..., Liberals and Greens agree on an approach to assess carbon pollution reduction[/url] 

If the Liberals are moving away from this commitment affirmed repeatedly over the Harper years, that is very worrying indeed. I think letters to Liberal MPs are in order (House of Commons, Ottawa ON K1A 0A6, postage free). 

Aristotleded24

swallow wrote:
I think letters to Liberal MPs are in order (House of Commons, Ottawa ON K1A 0A6, postage free).

But those letters won't even arrive at the desks because Trudeau hasn't yet made a clear plan to reverse the Harper decision to cut home delivery of mail.

swallow swallow's picture

OK, send an e-mail then. But even Harper didn't eliminate delivery tof the mail to offices in parliament.... so I think the post is still getting through to MPs. 

mark_alfred

It's a good idea to send a letter.  I'm gonna do that today, both snail mail and email.

mark_alfred

Okay, I've sent the email. 

Quote:
Dear honourable Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, dear honourable Minister of the Environment Catherine McKenna, and dear Mr. Tom Mulcair,

I support there being a climate change accountability law that enshrines Canada's targets for greenhouse gas reductions into law.  After the federal government has met with the provinces and has decided upon what the overall target for Canada shall be, I wish to see such a law enacted.  I wish to see such a law be fashioned upon a previous bill known as the "Climate Change Accountability Act" that Jack Layton attempted to put in place back in, I believe, the thirty-ninth parliament.  I recall that the Liberal Party did support Mr. Layton's bill, and I hope that the government of today would support a similar bill now.

Sincerely,

mark_alfred {with full address)

Addresses of the recipients:

Justin Trudeau:  justin.trudeau@parl.gc.ca

Catherine McKenna:  Catherine.McKenna@parl.gc.ca

Tom Mulcair:  thomas.mulcair@parl.gc.ca

Pondering

moving response

mark_alfred

Pondering wrote:

moving response

Thank goodness.

mark_alfred

The full question period for December 7 (which the clip came from) is now on the Hansard.  This got some good media coverage on the CBC from Thibedeau, who commented that the questioning revealed the Liberals didn't have a plan when they went to Paris, and that so far they've only committed to the same levels that Conservatives committed to.  She also said the Mulcair's question about whether the government would make any targets it does commit to binding (IE, whether they would enact a law like the Climate Change Accountability Act) showed the government was unclear on this.

So, what we know is that so far the government has only pledged to the targets of the previous Conservatives, and they may not even make such targets binding.  Hopefully the Liberals will develop some courage and commit to national targets beyond what the Conservatives had committed to, and will commit to make such targets binding.

mark_alfred
Sean in Ottawa

Meaning the Conservative minimum targets are the same as the Liberals.

Lovely.

So maybe they will improve on the Conservatives or maybe they won't but no pressure, no committment.

Now that's REAL CHANGEtm.

A bunch of steaming rhetoric.

swallow swallow's picture

Well, that is disappointing. 

Pondering

swallow wrote:

Well, that is disappointing. 

It's also from November 9th.

No matter what targets are set or not set after the meeting with the provinces nothing Trudeau does will be sufficient. Nothing the NDP would have done would have been sufficient either. If the NDP were in power right now all criticism could be answered with "it's better than what the Liberals would have done".  So what? It still wouldn't be good enough.

It isn't a "Liberal" problem that can be solved by electing someone else.

The emphasis has to be that government is insufficiently responsive to the problem. The government will respond but only to overwhelming public pressure. It isn't enough to elect someone every four years.

mark_alfred

Agreed.  Public pressure is required. 

Even though the article was from last month, I haven't heard anything different from the Liberals since.  Just look at Trudeau's meandering non-answers above (transcribed in the first post).  The NDP had a much better plan than the Liberals.  Regardless, I do agree with the sentiment that Mulcair expressed in the letter he sent me, which is the "new federal government seems to be taking climate change seriously, but their words and promises must be backed up with a real plan and real action."  So, as you say, public pressure is required.

swallow swallow's picture

I do't care who's in power. I care about holding the government to a tougher plan of action than the Harper plan, regardless of the government's political colour. 

There was a Liberal-NDP consensus about the need for tougher binding targets before the election. I've been pretty happy with the Trudeau govenrment so far and would probably vote for them over Mulcair myself at the moment. But if they are backtracking on their commitment to binding targets, it is disappointing and requries some sort of response. 

At a minimum, letters to the government asking them to commit to tougher binding targets on Canada's greenhouse gas emissions seem in order. Surely that's not a controversial position and even Liberal partisans would agree, if they are in fact committed to environmentalism? 

Pondering

swallow wrote:

I do't care who's in power. I care about holding the government to a tougher plan of action than the Harper plan, regardless of the government's political colour. 

There was a Liberal-NDP consensus about the need for tougher binding targets before the election. I've been pretty happy with the Trudeau govenrment so far and would probably vote for them over Mulcair myself at the moment. But if they are backtracking on their commitment to binding targets, it is disappointing and requries some sort of response. 

At a minimum, letters to the government asking them to commit to tougher binding targets on Canada's greenhouse gas emissions seem in order. Surely that's not a controversial position and even Liberal partisans would agree, if they are in fact committed to environmentalism? 

He hasn't back-tracked. He said he would meet with the provinces 90 days after COP21 to work on targets and specific measure that will be taken to meet them.

There doesn't seem a lot to be said about it until that happens.

The only thing we know in advance is that whatever is decided on it won't be enough.

I think the Liberals would do well to consult with legal experts the likely result of stating that the entire approval process for the pipelines to go back to zero. As I understand it the NEB can be over-ruled by parliament.

Some pipeline was approved but with around a hundred conditions so they can also be stopped by not meeting those conditions.

quizzical

whatever thread it was in on the environment there was an article epaulo put up about the Liberals doing sfa in respect to Transmountain and the NEB.

i don't understand why people in BC aren't freaking from the roof tops about the NEB having control over BC's rivers and water sheds.

swallow swallow's picture

The Liberals voted for binding targets the last time there was a chance to do so in parliament. Now they aren't. I find that disappointing. Not much more to say, other than to wonder how to get the government to commit to binding targets. 

Pondering

quizzical wrote:

whatever thread it was in on the environment there was an article epaulo put up about the Liberals doing sfa in respect to Transmountain and the NEB.

i don't understand why people in BC aren't freaking from the roof tops about the NEB having control over BC's rivers and water sheds.

The NEB has no more control over BC than they do over the rest of the country. The federal government has the actual power not the NEB.

Brad Wall made noises about it when Quebec and Ontario issued demands of their own for Energy East.

Technically, as I understand it, the provinces don't have the legal right to reject pipelines but in practice they do. When local opposition is strong enough the federal government can't impose it's will.

Notice that even under a decade of Harper's rule the oil industry was unable to force a single pipeline through.

Pondering

swallow wrote:

The Liberals voted for binding targets the last time there was a chance to do so in parliament. Now they aren't. I find that disappointing. Not much more to say, other than to wonder how to get the government to commit to binding targets. 

There hasn't been a new vote and the Liberals haven't said that there will be no binding targets. The first meeting is in 90 days to hammer out an agreement with the provinces.

Had the COP21 targets been made binding the US would not have been part of the deal because the Republican controlled senate would have had the power to reject it as a treaty.

Maybe it would have been better to leave out the US but would the other signatories accept binding targets without the US doing so? (I really don't know the answer)

NorthReport

Isn't it time for Truideau to head back to France for the photo-op?  Frown

quizzical

Pondering wrote:
quizzical wrote:
whatever thread it was in on the environment there was an article epaulo put up about the Liberals doing sfa in respect to Transmountain and the NEB.

i don't understand why people in BC aren't freaking from the roof tops about the NEB having control over BC's rivers and water sheds.

The NEB has no more control over BC than they do over the rest of the country. The federal government has the actual power not the NEB.

Brad Wall made noises about it when Quebec and Ontario issued demands of their own for Energy East.

Technically, as I understand it, the provinces don't have the legal right to reject pipelines but in practice they do. When local opposition is strong enough the federal government can't impose it's will.

Notice that even under a decade of Harper's rule the oil industry was unable to force a single pipeline through.

pondering at least get it right if you're going to shill for the Liberals.

1. Harper only had 1 term with a majority. they tried to get TM through this frame and couldn't because of; the time it took to remove environmental red tape, surveys, official engineered plans etc. Harper stacks the NEB in case he loses.

2. the NEB controls the Fraser and Thompson Rivers and their watersheds. this was done by Harper and it's an unheard of action to take lands rivers and waters out of an environmental portfolio like Oceans and Fisheries.

3. first things Liberals do is say they're not going to halt anything in progress with the NEB and Transmountain contrary to their election platform

4. first thing the Liberals should've done is remove 2/3rds of the province's largest waterways from NEB control. they didn't and promised opposite.  this single thing has turned me sour on anything Liberal and made me take a long look at their leader's actions and condemn pretty much anything. i'd really wanted to believe they'd be better than Harper.

5. the NEB may be a Board of the government but their decisions are binding and the Liberals have no appointees on it, then their report on it goes to the Minister of Natural Resources for formal approval by an order in council, aka rubber stamp. their little letter writing campaign to Harper's appointees stalls things just long enough for Tranmountain to go through and they think they can shake off the blame.

swallow swallow's picture

Pondering wrote:

Had the COP21 targets been made binding the US would not have been part of the deal because the Republican controlled senate would have had the power to reject it as a treaty.

Maybe it would have been better to leave out the US but would the other signatories accept binding targets without the US doing so? (I really don't know the answer)

No, actually, the USA is calling for binding targets. Canada is among those countries who were being lobbied by the "high ambition coalition" led by vulnerable states and the EU. 

[url=http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/dec/08/coalition-paris-push-... coalition breaks cover in Paris to push for binding and ambitious deal[/url]

You can google for much more. Belatedly, Canada has joined this coalition of states but has yet to set any more ambitious targets of its own.

mark_alfred

Pondering wrote:
There hasn't been a new vote and the Liberals haven't said that there will be no binding targets.

Yeah, but the worrying thing is that when he was directly asked, he avoided directly answering.  If they intend to have binding targets, then why not just say so?

Mulcair wrote:
Once it finally decides on Canada's targets, will this government finally decide to make them binding by enshrining them into a climate change accountability law here at home?

Very easy question to answer:

ideal Trudeau who intends to have binding targets wrote:
Yes, after we meet with the provinces and determine our targets we will make them binding by enshrining them into law here.  There will be accountability.

Instead:

evasive real-life Trudeau rambling and avoiding the question wrote:
One of the things my honourable colleague seems to forget from time to time is that Canada is a federation with ten provinces that all have different approaches and different requirements and we have committed to sit down and engage with those provinces and listen to them and work out not just targets but a plan that is going to ensure that Canada meets its international and domestic obligations to reduce climate emissions and develop a strong economy.

It's worrying that he can't make this simple commitment to enshrine into law the targets after they've worked it out with the provinces.  What's holding him back?

Pondering

swallow wrote:

Pondering wrote:

Had the COP21 targets been made binding the US would not have been part of the deal because the Republican controlled senate would have had the power to reject it as a treaty.

Maybe it would have been better to leave out the US but would the other signatories accept binding targets without the US doing so? (I really don't know the answer)

No, actually, the USA is calling for binding targets. Canada is among those countries who were being lobbied by the "high ambition coalition" led by vulnerable states and the EU. 

[url=http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/dec/08/coalition-paris-push-... coalition breaks cover in Paris to push for binding and ambitious deal[/url]

You can google for much more. Belatedly, Canada has joined this coalition of states but has yet to set any more ambitious targets of its own.

Should have read to the end:

The US wants some aspects of any deal – such as the emission targets and commitments on financial assistance to the developing world – not to be legally binding, though it may agree to the main architecture of any settlement be binding.

Trudeau could not have been an original member because it started up in July and it's not clear what exactly would be binding if not the targets and financial commitments?

Pondering

mark_alfred wrote:

It's worrying that he can't make this simple commitment to enshrine into law the targets after they've worked it out with the provinces.  What's holding him back?

The need to negotiate with the provinces.

Trudeau:  One of the things my honourable colleague seems to forget from time to time is that Canada is a federation with ten provinces that all have different approaches and different requirements and we have committed to sit down and engage with those provinces and listen to them and work out not just targets but a plan that is going to ensure that Canada meets its international and domestic obligations to reduce climate emissions and develop a strong economy.

The plan for ensuring the targets will be met is something he will negotiate with the provinces. He needs their cooperation to make this happen. Setting up an adversarial relationship with the provinces doesn't seem to me to be the right approach. Many of the provinces and cities moved forward in the face of federal inaction. There is no reason to believe they will negotiate in bad faith. 1/3rd of the infrastructure funds are ear-marked for green projects. That may play into the negotiations. A carrot is a better motivator than a stick, and again I remind you that the provinces have moved forward of their own accord.

I don't believe that any of the parties including the Liberals are willing to be bold enough on climate change and moving to renewables. Within the context of what is being done worldwide I think the Liberals do intend to move us forward.

 

mark_alfred

Pondering wrote:

mark_alfred wrote:

It's worrying that he can't make this simple commitment to enshrine into law the targets after they've worked it out with the provinces.  What's holding him back?

The need to negotiate with the provinces.

The plan for ensuring the targets will be met is something he will negotiate with the provinces. He needs their cooperation to make this happen. Setting up an adversarial relationship with the provinces doesn't seem to me to be the right approach. Many of the provinces and cities moved forward in the face of federal inaction. There is no reason to believe they will negotiate in bad faith. 1/3rd of the infrastructure funds are ear-marked for green projects. That may play into the negotiations. A carrot is a better motivator than a stick, and again I remind you that the provinces have moved forward of their own accord.

I don't believe that any of the parties including the Liberals are willing to be bold enough on climate change and moving to renewables. Within the context of what is being done worldwide I think the Liberals do intend to move us forward.

So you oppose Canada having an overall target that is binding and enshrined into law?  Sad.  You're advocating what used to be exclusively Conservative talking points, but now we're hearing this from Liberals too.  The Climate Change Accountability Act was passed with Liberal support back in 2010, but was killed by the Conservative dominated Senate.  The fact that Liberals and some of their supporters like you now oppose this and have adopted Conservative talking points is just sad.

swallow swallow's picture

Quote:

On Sunday, Environment Minister Catherine McKenna announced that Canada would support over 50 small island states and vulnerable nations calling for a new limit of 1.5C of warming to be enshrined in the Paris climate agreement.

If McKenna and the rest of Justin Trudeau’s government mean what they say about supporting this ambitious target, it’s time to rattle off the good news: Energy East is dead, the twinning of Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain pipeline is history, the vast majority of the tar sands will be left in the ground, and Canada is about to begin decarbonizing its economy at a heroic and unprecedented rate.

We may be in Paris, but hold the champagne.

[url=https://ricochet.media/en/817/canada-and-15-degrees-rhetoric-or-real-cha... and 1.5 degrees: ricochet[/url]

Pondering

mark_alfred wrote:

So you oppose Canada having an overall target that is binding and enshrined into law?  Sad.  You're advocating what used to be exclusively Conservative talking points, but now we're hearing this from Liberals too.  The Climate Change Accountability Act was passed with Liberal support back in 2010, but was killed by the Conservative dominated Senate.  The fact that Liberals and some of their supporters like you now oppose this and have adopted Conservative talking points is just sad.

I never said any such thing. You are the kind of person that gets people like Rob Ford and Harper elected as voters reject the manipulativeness of the "left". You, and the NDP, want to sabotage the talks with the provinces by maneuvering the Liberals into an authoritarian decision.

Right from the time of the Liberal leadership race Trudeau talked of the need to consult and to work in collaboration with all stakeholders to reach a consensus. Enforcement and penalities are part of the negotiations with the provinces and cities. It's way more likely to succeed than using the authoritarian top down approach that you favor.

Whatever the agreement made between the Liberals and the provinces and cities it won't be good enough. That is inevidable. If you were honest you would admit that the NDP wouldn't do any better because no political party has had the moral courage and political foresight to get in front of the environmental movement and the people's willingness to rebel against Wall (Bay) Street.

Jacob Two-Two

*

Jacob Two-Two

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Jacob Two-Two

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Jacob Two-Two

I have to wonder why Pondering cares so much about what parliament does on the environment that she spends so much of her time here arguing about it. I mean, given that she has already used her psychic powers to determine that any response from any government at any time will always be insufficient. Unless of course, her only real purpose is to make excuses for Liberal inaction in that area. It's not important that our ecosystem might be losing our ability to support us, but it's apparently very important that the Liberals don't take any blame while they do nothing about it. Once again her priorities shine like a beacon of mindless partisanship.

Sean in Ottawa

The argument could have been that the federal government cannot advance binding legal targets without completing a negotiation with the provinces and that while the date of the international meeting has been known for a long time, the Trudeau government, only just elected, did not have the opportunity to hold the talks with the provinces prior to the discussions.

But this is not the Trudeau government position.

The Trudeau government position is that countries must have targets (in fact be forced to ahve them) but that they not be legally binding.

How can you have a realistic target without a negotiation with the provinces and if you have a target why can't it be binding? What is a target for?

It is a little like saying you have to have election promises but they don't have to mean anything.

***

Now I appreciate the aspiration to the 1.5 degree level. The problem is that we must move on from aspirations towards commitment and commitments are meaningless if even the wealthier countries like Canada are unwilling to place a legal liability on missing them.

In many areas, Canadians have to be delighted at the improved rhetoric coming from the Liberal government compared to the previous regime. However, the sunny rhetoric will fast become tedious if it is not backed up in more concrete ways. This is no longer an election campaign, the Liberals are in a position where they have to outline specifics and make commitments in a number of the areas where they have been vague.

It is reasonable to provide some time for this but as we move forward the time to make these things concrete is coming up on some things faster than others. The practice of being vague and noncommital could become a hallmark just as secrecy and mendacity was for the Conservatives. There is no set date on when the public patience will run out but history tells us that usually that happens suddenly. It also tells us that a new government typically gets something in the order of a year before people really start to get upset by this but that people notice the early signs and remember them in hindsight once public patience is exhausted. It is a little like those do not pay for a year deals. If you pay it in full you are fine but if not, you pay interest for the whole year.

We know there is a lot of good will to the government but they would be wise not to test it too far before delivering more than optics, aspirational statements and vagueness since while they may not pay a price for doing this now the price will be heavier later the longer people hear sunny ways but fewer specifics.

It is worth noting that the greatest challenge the Liberals like have is the support and expectation they now enjoy. This is the seed of harsher judgment should they fail to move from sunshine to reality at a pace people will support.

Pondering

Sean in Ottawa wrote:
The argument could have been that the federal government cannot advance binding legal targets without completing a negotiation with the provinces and that while the date of the international meeting has been known for a long time, the Trudeau government, only just elected, did not have the opportunity to hold the talks with the provinces prior to the discussions.

But this is not the Trudeau government position.

Actually that pretty much is the Liberal's position. He brought everyone possible along to the talks. They will meet again 90 days after the conference. I imagine it will take multiple meetings to work out an agreement.

What makes the agreements binding is part of what will be negotiated with the provinces and cities along with the targets as per Trudeau's statement.

The Liberals have not been at all vague and they have been moving forward with their commitments very rapidly.

People are not only pleased with the rhetoric coming from Trudeau they are pleased with his actions to date.

He has already achieved 4 of his platform commitments and 11 are in progess.

In fact his platform commitment was to meet with the provinces to work out an agreement on carbon reduction.

I'm sure whatever they agree to won't be good enough for climate change activists and won't be good enough for me but it will fulfill his campaign commitment and will satisfy most Canadians.

 

Sean in Ottawa

Pondering wrote:

Sean in Ottawa wrote:
The argument could have been that the federal government cannot advance binding legal targets without completing a negotiation with the provinces and that while the date of the international meeting has been known for a long time, the Trudeau government, only just elected, did not have the opportunity to hold the talks with the provinces prior to the discussions.

But this is not the Trudeau government position.

Actually that pretty much is the Liberal's position. He brought everyone possible along to the talks. They will meet again 90 days after the conference. I imagine it will take multiple meetings to work out an agreement.

What makes the agreements binding is part of what will be negotiated with the provinces and cities along with the targets as per Trudeau's statement.

The Liberals have not been at all vague and they have been moving forward with their commitments very rapidly.

People are not only pleased with the rhetoric coming from Trudeau they are pleased with his actions to date.

He has already achieved 4 of his platform commitments and 11 are in progess.

In fact his platform commitment was to meet with the provinces to work out an agreement on carbon reduction.

I'm sure whatever they agree to won't be good enough for climate change activists and won't be good enough for me but it will fulfill his campaign commitment and will satisfy most Canadians.

 

Nope.

http://news.nationalpost.com/news/canada/paris-climate-agreement-will-be...

The legally binding part will be creating the target not living up to it.

 

Also as I said:

"The former Conservative government announced earlier this year a Canadian target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 30 per cent below 2005 levels by 2030. That target will remain the “floor” going forward for a new federal plan, McKenna said."

And to be clear:

"At the end of the day, it is a moral obligation these countries have to do what they say they were going to do,” Guilbeault said."

Pondering

Sean in Ottawa wrote:

Pondering wrote:

Sean in Ottawa wrote:
The argument could have been that the federal government cannot advance binding legal targets without completing a negotiation with the provinces and that while the date of the international meeting has been known for a long time, the Trudeau government, only just elected, did not have the opportunity to hold the talks with the provinces prior to the discussions.

But this is not the Trudeau government position.

Actually that pretty much is the Liberal's position. He brought everyone possible along to the talks. They will meet again 90 days after the conference. I imagine it will take multiple meetings to work out an agreement.

What makes the agreements binding is part of what will be negotiated with the provinces and cities along with the targets as per Trudeau's statement.

The Liberals have not been at all vague and they have been moving forward with their commitments very rapidly.

People are not only pleased with the rhetoric coming from Trudeau they are pleased with his actions to date.

He has already achieved 4 of his platform commitments and 11 are in progess.

In fact his platform commitment was to meet with the provinces to work out an agreement on carbon reduction.

I'm sure whatever they agree to won't be good enough for climate change activists and won't be good enough for me but it will fulfill his campaign commitment and will satisfy most Canadians.

 

Nope.

http://news.nationalpost.com/news/canada/paris-climate-agreement-will-be...

The legally binding part will be creating the target not living up to it.

 

Also as I said:

"The former Conservative government announced earlier this year a Canadian target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 30 per cent below 2005 levels by 2030. That target will remain the “floor” going forward for a new federal plan, McKenna said."

And to be clear:

"At the end of the day, it is a moral obligation these countries have to do what they say they were going to do,” Guilbeault said."

The Climate Change Accountability Act was not internationally binding either which is what started this thread. I'm talking about national agreements not international.

The issue of the COP21 agreement is much more complex and the US refused binding targets along with other major emitters.

What's going to matter is what is delivered. 4 years is long enough to make a measurable impact and we should be able to see movement along the way if not in outcome in projects in progress. I read somewhere it takes 1 to 2 years to get shovels in the ground. So first we will see agreements.

The Liberals are offering money for green projects. I assume those are intended to help meet targets.

There is just no reason to be predicting doom for the Liberal government right now.

The bottomline is no matter what the Liberals do it won't be good enough without stopping the pipelines and ultimately the oil sands. The notion that they can continue developing expotentially is madness.

Diplomatically it is a very difficult position to take and they won't be stopped on a dime. It is still the elephant in the room. Alberta's economy is going to have to transition away from oil. It will be much less painful if it is planned and executed over a period of 30 years.

mark_alfred

Pondering wrote:

mark_alfred wrote:

So you oppose Canada having an overall target that is binding and enshrined into law?  Sad.  You're advocating what used to be exclusively Conservative talking points, but now we're hearing this from Liberals too.  The Climate Change Accountability Act was passed with Liberal support back in 2010, but was killed by the Conservative dominated Senate.  The fact that Liberals and some of their supporters like you now oppose this and have adopted Conservative talking points is just sad.

I never said any such thing. You are the kind of person that gets people like Rob Ford and Harper elected as voters reject the manipulativeness of the "left". You, and the NDP, want to sabotage the talks with the provinces by maneuvering the Liberals into an authoritarian decision.

Right from the time of the Liberal leadership race Trudeau talked of the need to consult and to work in collaboration with all stakeholders to reach a consensus. Enforcement and penalities are part of the negotiations with the provinces and cities. It's way more likely to succeed than using the authoritarian top down approach that you favor.

Whatever the agreement made between the Liberals and the provinces and cities it won't be good enough. That is inevidable. If you were honest you would admit that the NDP wouldn't do any better because no political party has had the moral courage and political foresight to get in front of the environmental movement and the people's willingness to rebel against Wall (Bay) Street.

It's the difference between having an agreement that is merely aspirational to one that is enforceable.  For the Liberals to now say "we plan to have an agreement that will be enforceable via law, and not merely aspirational, because we take climate change seriously, and such a law will be enacted after we have consulted with the provinces," is not unreasonable.  This is a perfectly reasonable demand of the NDP.  My hope is that the Liberals will come to their senses on this.

Pondering

mark_alfred wrote:

It's the difference between having an agreement that is merely aspirational to one that is enforceable.  For the Liberals to now say "we plan to have an agreement that will be enforceable via law, and not merely aspirational, because we take climate change seriously, and such a law will be enacted after we have consulted with the provinces," is not unreasonable.  This is a perfectly reasonable demand of the NDP.  My hope is that the Liberals will come to their senses on this.

I agree enforceability is a reasonable demand and hope that it is a part of the negotiated deal but even if the targets are aspirational that doesn't mean we can't hold them accountable. I want to see results, not just promises, regardless of "enforceability". That means concrete action on transitioning to renewables. It can't be fast enough.

The elephant in the room concerning climate change remains the oil sands and that is being impeded by pipeline opponents and the dropping price in oil.

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/dec/11/cheap-oil-climate-c...

Certainly everything else still matters. Improving air quality in our cities matters and any reduction in emissions is a good thing but Canada's big sin lies in being a major dirty oil producer.

 

Trevormkidd

Trudeau has a better chance of teaching chickens to speak both official languages then he has of achieving the medium term targets in the Climate Change Accountability Act.  It was irresponsible when he voted for it in the past.  Just cheap political pandering.  The same goes for Mulcair, Layton and the NDP.

With the Act in 2010 the medium term target was 25% below 1990 levels by 2020.  As emissions had increased in the intervening years it would have required an average decrease of 3.6% per year for 10 years.

Currently with the changes in the act the medium term target is now 34% below 1990 levels by 2025.  An average decrease of 4.5% per year for 10 years.

The poster child country for the environmental groups is Germany which has managed to reduce emissions by an average of 1% a year since 1990.

It is true that a couple countries have managed to reduce emissions that are sort of close, but not really close at all, to being in the range of what the Act demands Canada does in the medium term.  For instance France starting in 1979 reduced their emissions by 30% in 9 years.  While Sweden reduced their emissions by 42% in 14 years from 1976 to 1990.  Neither is close to 45% in 10 years, and both did it almost entirely through a massive switch to nuclear power.  However, those were in the days before the demand was to save the planent while throwing science out the window (back during the time when globally carbon free energy sources rose from 6% in 1973 to 12.25% in 1990.  In the 25 years since - once the environmental movement got involved - they have risen from 12.25% to 13%) and indeed both of those countries will soon start to see their emissions rise as they give in to environmental groups' demands that they shut down nuclear power.

Eventually leaders will understand that they only option they have is massive investments in R+D.  Austerity ecology works as well as economic austerity.

Pondering

Trevormkidd wrote:

Eventually leaders will understand that they only option they have is massive investments in R+D.  Austerity ecology works as well as economic austerity.

R&D is very important but we already have the technology to go 100% renewable. What we are lacking is the political will.

http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/139-countries-could-get-all-of...

Mark Jacobson and Mark Delucchi have done it again. This time they’ve spelled out how 139 countries can each generate all the energy needed for homes, businesses, industry, transportation, agriculture—everything—from wind, solar and water power technologies, by 2050. Their national blueprints, released Nov. 18, follow similar plans they have published in the past few years to run each of the 50 U.S. states on renewables, as well as the entire world. (Have a look for yourself, at your country, using the interactive map below.)

The plans, which list exact numbers of wind turbines, solar farms, hydroelectric dams and such, have been heralded as transformational, and criticized as starry eyed or even nutty.

Trevormkidd

Pondering wrote:
R&D is very important but we already have the technology to go 100% renewable. What we are lacking is the political will.

Yes, I am well aware that two very biased scientists make claims that conform to their own biases, and that the scientific community for the most part considers their claims to be beyond impractical.  Climate change deniers promote and believe their own "lone geniuses" that say the things they want to hear as well.  I am more interested in mainstream scientific views then the views of the extreme fringe.

As for the claim that what is lacking is political will.  I used to believe that too, until I realized that it was no different then libertarians who refuse to accept that if their political ideology could work there would be an example of it working somewhere in the world.  The reality is that those of us on the left as just as apt to deny the science and reality about climate change and climate change solutions as those on the right.  Instead of accepting that we on the left are demanding crappy, unworkable, fuzzy unicorn solutions, we blame others.

 

 

Pondering

Trevormkidd wrote:

Pondering wrote:
R&D is very important but we already have the technology to go 100% renewable. What we are lacking is the political will.

Yes, I am well aware that two very biased scientists make claims that conform to their own biases, and that the scientific community for the most part considers their claims to be beyond impractical.  Climate change deniers promote and believe their own "lone geniuses" that say the things they want to hear as well.  I am more interested in mainstream scientific views then the views of the extreme fringe.

As for the claim that what is lacking is political will.  I used to believe that too, until I realized that it was no different then libertarians who refuse to accept that if their political ideology could work there would be an example of it working somewhere in the world.  The reality is that those of us on the left as just as apt to deny the science and reality about climate change and climate change solutions as those on the right.  Instead of accepting that we on the left are demanding crappy, unworkable, fuzzy unicorn solutions, we blame others.

I am not against R&D but there are many economical technologies available that we aren't using. R&D is not much use if it stops at the drawing board.

R&D is not going to make the oilsands viable anytime soon.

If political will existed we would have been installing direct thermal heating and cooling in all new construction where viable throughout Canada. It is very economical. A private company is paying homeowners to allow them to install solar panels to sell electricity back to the grid. Free public transit in high density areas pays for itself as per a link provided by another babbler of a city that did it.

Investment in R&D is important but so is progress on the solutions that exist today.

quizzical

it costs around 11,000.00 here in BC to get reverse hook up to the hydro grid. buying and installing solar panels is only part of the costs.

you'd think hydro would do it for free but they're in the business of making money off of usage.

Trevormkidd

Pondering wrote:
I am not against R&D but there are many economical technologies available that we aren't using. R&D is not much use if it stops at the drawing board.

R&D is not going to make the oilsands viable anytime soon.

If political will existed we would have been installing direct thermal heating and cooling in all new construction where viable throughout Canada. It is very economical. A private company is paying homeowners to allow them to install solar panels to sell electricity back to the grid. Free public transit in high density areas pays for itself as per a link provided by another babbler of a city that did it.

Investment in R&D is important but so is progress on the solutions that exist today.

Sure, but that won't get us even close to the 4.5% reduction per year required for the medium term target of the Climate Change Accountability Act.  Remember that Germany has averaged 1% a year, and they have been the leader.

Nor, are the measures that we can afford in Canada going to cut it in the developing world.  They are going to develop, and they are going to do it using the cheapest energy available - and that is exactly what they should do.  Had we (meaning the developed world) invested heavily in R+D 25 years ago (instead of cutting R+D spending while shifting money to pay for more expensive current alternatives) we would be be much, much, much farther ahead right now, and developing countries would have more affordable greener options.  Will we waste the next 15 years in the same way we wasted the last 25?  Probably.  When people a couple decades from now have to pick up the pieces from our inaction, useless actions and counterproductive "feel good" actions, are they going to look at Kerry, Gore and (Bill) Clinton (who killed the IFR to placate the unbendable ideology of green reactionaries) as being any different then the Koch brothers? 

Sean in Ottawa

quizzical wrote:

it costs around 11,000.00 here in BC to get reverse hook up to the hydro grid. buying and installing solar panels is only part of the costs.

you'd think hydro would do it for free but they're in the business of making money off of usage.

Profit comes of course from either increasing revenue or decreasing cost.

We know that inidividual resedential home based production of renewable energy is small compared to plant. But we also presume that the reverse metering is not a horribly expensive cost when the home-owner is paying for the rest of the generation.

Is there, anywhere, a comparison of the cost of production of energy from utility sources with home generation? Is there an analysis of demand at the time they are producing (is this home solar producing at peak times or does it idle plants that would be needed anyway at peak times when the sun is not shining? What is the current technology for power storage (we know there are a number of techniques for this)?

Would someone direct us to this information if they know of the best sources?

Certainly here in Ontario we have heavy costs in electricity -- knowing the costs to the utility when it comes to permitting people to put their own power on the grid compared with generation, you would think would be basic.

quizzical

i don't know any of this Sean. i was living on the Sooke Reservation when Chief Planes put in solar on the band hall and homes and i know they're making really good money from reverse selling.

mom is working on a grant for solar panels and stuff for a hall about the same size as the Sooke Band Hall which is the only reason i know the reverse hook up costs. they don't use the hall in summer very much and it gets the whole day's sun and the valley is considered to be semi arid with majority sun in all seasons so the feasibility to do it was good.

she thinks if it works as the studies show then it could be used as a model for other NPO's who own their own buildings in the Basin and the businesses here too.

 

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

Former CAPP veep says she doesn’t bring any bias to new Natural Resources job

Janet Annesley doesn’t back down. The new chief of staff to the federal minister of natural resources has taken on everyone from actors Robert Redford and Leonardo DiCaprio, to respected think tanks like Alberta’s Pembina Institute.

The former Shell company executive and vice-president of communications for the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers’ (CAPP) has managed multi-million-dollar campaigns promoting the Alberta tar sands and oil interests.

And in 2011, when the Energy Framework Initiative lobbied the Harper government to cut the red tape on oil mega-projects, CAPP was one of the four groups that pushed for the dismantling of environmental regulations.

She’s sailed with climate-change deniers on Conservative Ezra Levant’s Freedom Cruise.

And now she’s landed a high-profile job at a ministry that will have to make some tough decisions in coming months over hotly-contested projects such as the Energy East and Kinder Morgan pipelines....

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