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Harper’s climate plans allow tar sands to expand

The Globe and Mail reports that, “Canadians must …recognize that any national emissions cap has to reflect differing conditions across the country so as not to punish high-growth provinces (says environment minister Jim Prentice).”

“The minister has been consulting with provinces on a plan that would impose a cap on industrial emissions, but allow Alberta’s energy-intensive, emissions-heavy oil sands to continue expanding.”

“Ottawa will not release its detailed climate-change plan, including its proposed emissions caps on large emitters such as oil sands and power plants, until there is more clarity on how the United States intends to proceed in global climate-change talks in Copenhagen in December, and on what an international treaty would look like…”

“The Harper government has been criticized for undermining the global talks by insisting on smaller reductions for greenhouse gases than other developed countries, by demanding that emerging economies such as China and India agree to binding caps on their emissions, and by not tabling a plan for meeting Ottawa’s own targets.”

“Ottawa proposes to reduce emissions by 20 per cent from 2006 levels by 2020. If achieved, Canadian emissions would be 3 per cent below 1990 levels; under Kyoto, Canada committed to cutting its greenhouse gases by 6 per cent from 1990 levels by 2012.”

“Ottawa’s chief climate negotiator, Michael Martin, (claims) …the government’s 2020 target represents a 26-per-cent reduction from 1990 emission levels on a per-capita basis, after adjusting for population growth.”

“In Canada, environmentalists and federal opposition parties have slammed the Conservative government for adopting an emission target that falls well short of the country’s commitment under the Kyoto Protocol, and far short of what many other developed countries are doing.”

The article is at http://theglobeandmail.com/news/national/ottawa-dashes-hope-for-climate-treaty-in-copenhagen/article1334900/?.