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NEWS: Baird misses the boat at UN climate summit

This morning Council of Canadians climate campaigner Andrea Harden-Donahue and I attended environment minister John Baird’s speech at the UN climate conference today.

In response to his speech we issued this media release minutes later:

In a very brief and quickly-spoken address, environment minister John Baird embarrassed Canada at the UN summit on climate change today in Cancun.

While he has called for “all oars in the water,” Baird has clearly missed the boat for the action necessary to counter climate change.

He reaffirmed Canada’s commitment to the weak and non-binding Copenhagen Accord that allows for a disastrous 4-5 Celsius degrees increase.

Baird also boasted that Canada is contributing $400 million to climate aid this fiscal year, even though that is well below what developing countries have been demanding.

He also reaffirmed his government’s pledge to reduce Canada’s emissions by 17 percent below 2005 levels, omitting that the standard baseline for almost all countries is 1990 and that by this measure the pledge amounts to a 2.5 percent increase.

“If Canada’s intentions here were truly to address emissions he wouldn’t be killing Kyoto Protocol, the only legally binding agreement we have,” says climate campaigner Andrea Harden-Donahue.

“While Baird claims we need a single binding agreement, that does not need to be exclusive of committing to a second period under the Kyoto Protocol,” adds Harden-Donahue.