--------- Forwarded message ----------
From: "janson2997" <janson1997@...
Date: Sun, 13 Jun 2004 08:34:20 -0000
Subject: [fuelcell-energy] Canada should be a leader on global warming
Canada should be a leader on global warming
COLOGNE, GERMANY�A conference on climate change provides an
interesting backdrop against which to watch the apocalyptic
science-fiction movie The Day After Tomorrow. This is exactly what the
organizers of Carbon Expo arranged here this week.
You sort of wished that Conservative Leader Stephen Harper had been in
the theatre, given his rejection of the Kyoto Accord.
While the movie, with its spectacular special effects, presents a
highly exaggerated view of what may lie ahead as a result of climate
change, the reality is that climate change is a long-term threat to
future generations and we need to accelerate the move to a low-carbon
This is, in fact, one of those issues where there is a clear dividing
line between the Liberals and Conservatives in the current federal
election campaign. It is also an issue, perhaps more than any other,
which should encourage young people to actually vote. They and their
own children will feel the effects.
The government of Jean Chr�tien ratified the Kyoto Accord last year,
with Martin voting in favour, although it dragged its feet in setting
out an implementation plan. There are still gaps on how Canada is to
achieve its target of cutting greenhouse gas emissions by 6 per cent
from their 1990 levels by 2008-2012.
But Harper is dead set against Kyoto. He claims that the Kyoto Accord
is "the worst international agreement this country has ever signed."
And, he says, "we don't support implementation of the Kyoto targets.
We think they are unfair and unrealistic."
Harper would cut government funding to fight climate change and, given
his harsh criticisms, presumably would follow the lead of U.S.
President George W. Bush and pull Canada out of Kyoto.
Yet as this week's Carbon Expo � sponsored by the World Bank, the
International Emissions Trading Association and the Cologne Trade Fair
� here showed, there's considerable activity now under way, and this
in turn is unleashing a great deal of private sector activity, some of
it involving Canadian companies.
The conference, the first of its kind on emissions trading and the
emerging global carbon market, brought buyers and sellers of global
emissions reductions together.
The market is currently less than $1 billion (U.S.), but is projected
to reach $10 billion by 2007, according to Point Carbon, one of the
many consultancies spawned by this market.
Some Canadian companies are active as members of the International
Emissions Trading Association, headquartered in Geneva, but with
offices in Brussels and Toronto. The association is promoting the
establishment and use of emissions trading systems.
The Canadian members include Alcan, B.C. Hydro, Davies Ward Phillips &
Vineberg LLP, EnCana Corp., MacLeod Dixon LLP, Nexen Inc., Ontario
Power Generation, Suncor Energy Inc., TransAlta Corp. and Trans-
Canada Corp. The association is headed by a Canadian, Andrei Marcu,
and one of the two vice chairs is David Findlay, an executive at
Some are also members of the World Business Council for Sustainable
Development, which is playing a leadership role in helping businesses
establish credible and workable accounting and reporting standards for
greenhouse gas emissions and include Alcan, B.C. Hydro, Noranda,
Ontario Power Generation, Petro-Canada, Suncor Energy and TransAlta.
The business council's mission is to help prepare business for a
"Climate change," it says, "is a global challenge requiring a global
solution," underlining the importance of governments providing a clear
Although the Bush administration's abrupt unilateral abandonment of
the Kyoto Accord was a setback, it now appears Russia will ratify the
accord, meaning it will come into force. Russian President Vladimir
Putin has indicated his support and as Mikhail Rogankov, an executive
with Russian industry's Carbon Fund, said here, "Putin is not a man
who will take back his word."
Earlier this month, an International Conference on Renewable Energies
was held in nearby Bonn. And next week, delegates from the 188
participating countries in the United Nations Climate Change
Convention will meet in Bonn to prepare for a major ministerial
conference on climate change to be held in December in Argentina.
With global energy demand expected to increase some 66 per cent by
2030, there will be clear threats to the environment that make
addressing the challenge of climate change even more imperative.
It would be unfortunate and irresponsible if Canada, which deservedly
or otherwise is seen as a country that values the environment, were to
withdraw from the world's most important environmental challenge. We
should be a leader in dealing with climate change, not a whiner.
David Crane's column appears on Wednesday and Saturday. He can be
reached by fax at 416-926-8048 or at crane@...
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