Re: Canada must set an example for the world, Guest Comment, Jan. 27, 2012.
Elizabeth May knows full well that although China and India may have signed on to the Kyoto Protocol, as “developing countries,” they were given a “pass” on establishing emission targets until after 2012.
I therefore stand by my comment that some 85 per cent of current world emissions are not covered by Kyoto targets.
To suggest that China, by way of example, has “done far more than Canada” in reducing emissions is unadulterated rubbish.
China is now the largest emitter of emissions in the world, surpassing the U.S. far sooner than expected. In addition, the carbon dragon’s surge in coal use is now the biggest source of emissions in the world.
One can just imagine the targets they will have to achieve after 2012, if in fact targets for such countries are ever established. And under these circumstances, China had the audacity, supported by May, to criticize Canada for its plan to exit this failed protocol.
One can understand, given the circumstances, why Russia and Japan are also withdrawing from Kyoto. No doubt there will be more to follow.
And for May to suggest that there are no penalties associated with failing to meet emission targets in the first commitment leads one to wonder if in fact we are reading the same Kyoto-related documents.
Although there are no direct financial penalties, the protocol specifically states that failure to achieve targets in the first commitment would result in second commitments where countries must make up the difference between increased emissions and targets in the first commitment, plus an additional 30 per cent penalty.
As well, a country’s ability to sell carbon credits would be suspended.
It was in this context that Environment Minister Peter Kent made the $14 billion estimate, an estimate that, in the opinion of many, is far too optimistic.
Canada was absolutely correct in withdrawing from this flawed protocol and other countries, without doubt, will follow the lead of Canada, Russia and Japan in avoiding heavy non-compliance penalties.
Be proud of the fact that Canada is leading the charge to develop emissions targets which will apply to all countries.