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‘Climate deal in Copenhagen unlikely’, says Prentice

The Canwest News Service reports that, “Less than two months from key global climate-change talks, federal Environment Minister Jim Prentice says he has doubts that an agreement will be hammered out in Copenhagen.”

Prentice says, “Increasingly, people are being realistic – that it’s hard to see a full and complete agreement being arrived at. There’s probably too much work to be done in the time left to achieve that. (Copenhagen is important, but) it’s more likely we’ll be working toward some agreed principles.”

The Harper government says it is committed to cutting emissions by 20 per cent below 2006 levels by 2020. While that is weak, Canwest notes, “the Stelmach government’s plan allows for increases in emissions – called absolute emissions — until 2020.”

On that, Prentice says, “There will have to be a parity of effort across the country. We’re all in this together. If that’s going to be Canada’s national target, then each province is going to have to share their share of the burden.”

Meanwhile, the Globe and Mail reports that, “(Marcel Coutu, chief executive officer of Canadian Oil Sands Trust, says) Alberta’s oil sands producers should be allowed to significantly increase their greenhouse gas emissions, even if that means forcing other sectors to take on additional expensive obligations to meet Canada’s climate change targets.”

“Mr. Coutu – whose company owns 36.7 per cent of the Syncrude oil sands project – acknowledged other sectors would have to take up the slack if the oil sands have only intensity-based requirements and Ottawa imposes a national cap on emissions.”

“With Alberta representing more than a third of Canadian emissions in 2006, the failure by that province to cut back will require the rest of the provinces to reduce their emissions by more than 35 per cent from 2006 levels over the next 10 years.”

Energy campaigner Andrea Harden-Donahue notes that if Bill C-311 were to pass, Canada would be committed to 25 percent below 1990 by 2020 and 80 percent by 2050. The House of Commons will be voting on Wednesday October 21 on whether to extend the Committee’s review of C-311.

To see ‘ACTION ALERT: The Climate Change Accountability Act needs your ongoing support!’ please go to http://canadians.org/action/2009/30-Mar-09.html.

The Council of Canadians will also be at the climate change talks in Copenhagen this coming December. We will be advocating for strong new commitments from Canada and countries around the world to address the worsening climate crisis.

To read about the Council of Canadians climate justice campaign, please go to http://canadians.org/climatejustice.

The Canwest News Service report is at http://www.calgaryherald.com/business/Copenhagen+climate+deal+unlikely+Environment+Minister+Prentice/2106891/story.html.

The Globe and Mail article is at http://theglobeandmail.com/globe-investor/allow-increased-oil-sands-emissions-ceo-urges/article1325369/?.