Rallies Protest Inaction on Climate Change
Sunday, December 9, 20072 Comments
Protesters demand action on climate change outside UN conference in Bali. Photo courtesy of bbc.co.uk
More than 50 protests were held in cities around the world this weekend demanding a commitment to stronger measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by global leaders.
The conference is taking place on the Indonesian island of Bali and will run until December 14. The goal is to forge a new international climate agreement to replace the Kyoto Protocol, which expires in 2012.
While the federal government normally invites members of the opposition parities, this year’s conservative delegation chose to attend the conference alone; prompting critics to suggest Harper was hoping to avoid embarrassment on the international stage for his government’s poor record on Kyoto compliance.
Canada and Australia are the only members of the 53-nations Kyoto grouping that has not accepting wording in a climate change resolution calling for binding targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Canada’s environment minister John Baird said Canada will not sign a climate-change treaty that doesn’t include the United States, China and India.
The US has stated that it will not submit to binding emissions targets. Baird said an agreement without US participation would have little effect on greenhouse gas emissions and harm the Canadian economy.
"You can have unilateral disarmament. Some might call it noble — but it's not very smart," Baird said in an interview before he arrived in Bali this weekend.
Earlier this week, Liberal leader Stephane Dion told the House of Commons that the Bali summit needed Canada's support.
"The government is telling the world it will do nothing unless everyone does something. This is a recipe for disaster," Dion commented.
Canada’s commitment to Kyoto included an agreement to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by six per cent below 1990 levels by 2008-2012. However, a recent report by Greenpeace found that Canada’s emissions had increased by 25 per cent at the end of 2005.