Skip to content

NEWS: Will John Baird represent Canada at the Cancun climate talks?

The Vancouver Sun has reported that with the resignation of Jim Prentice as environment minister that, “(John) Baird (may) be representing Canada at the next international climate change summit, which begins on Nov. 29 in Cancun, Mexico…” While “(Prime Minister Stephen) Harper’s office would not say whether Baird would still be the minister leading Canada’s delegation at the summit,” Baird’s confrontational-style of politics is raising concerns about this possibility.

The newspaper report also notes that Baird generated “some controversy at a 2007 global warming summit in Indonesia.” What was that controversy?

CTV reported in December 2007 that, “Environment Minister John Baird told reporters in Bali on Tuesday that while Canada believes in hard targets to cut greenhouse emissions, now is not the time to introduce them.” CTV also reported then that, “Baird has been saying that Canada intends to reduce emissions by 20 per cent by 2020. However, the Tories use a baseline year of 2006, not the much tougher 1990 standard that all other nations use. Climate analysts have said the Tories’ plan — if it even works — would leave Canada’s emissions two per cent above 1990 levels by 2020.”

And CTV noted, “Baird was supposed to explain Canada’s position at a meeting with non-governmental activists attending the (Bali) conference. He showed up for the meeting, but quickly left before speaking. Canadian activists and others waited for the minister to return. But they were later told Baird had to attend negotiations and would not be back.” It is believed that since Baird assumed the NGOs would be critical of his positions at the conference, he simply ducked the meeting.

The Vancouver Sun report is at http://www.vancouversun.com/technology/Green+groups+lament+Prentice+exit/3779596/story.html#ixzz14pKEz9v0. The CTV report from 2007 is at http://www.ctv.ca/CTVNews/Politics/20071211/climate_talks_071211/.