Oh, Canada!

Tragically, governing conservatives in Canada have put off serious action on reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions for decades. Not only are they walking away from their commitments under the Kyoto Protocol to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to six percent below 1990 levels by 2012.

They have proposed a bill that would “apply intensity-based targets until 2020, allowing emissions to continue to rise until then” — copying the Bush administration strategy discussed earlier in a post that explains what intensity-based targets are and why they are meaningless.

Yes, that means they are taking a [maple]-leaf from our conservatives, to mix metaphors. (Too bad they have chosen not to emulate British Conservatives, who are for more aggressive action than Kyoto, not less).

No doubt Canadian conservatives would argue that they are far different from American conservatives, since “in the long term,” the government says it “would seek to cut emissions 45 to 65 percent by 2050.”


But how do you cut greenhouse gas emissions in half by 2050 if you are already 30% higher than 1990 levels, and will be higher still by 2020? California has set itself on the right path — aiming to return greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by 2020, which then sets the stage for the kind of deep cuts that the planet really needs — 50% to 80% reductions by 2050 from 1990 levels.

Canada’s conservatives make those goals virtually unattainable, joining American conservatives in dramatically increasing the prospects for catastrophic climate change. As the anthem goes, “O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.”