Global warming: News is both good and badCanada
The Toronto Star
The good environmental news: Californians massively voted down a proposition to effectively junk its global warming laws this week.
The bad news: across the U.S., lawmakers who supported global warming measures at the national level were decimated in midterm elections, consigning the issue to the wastebasket.
So where does that leave Ontario, which has partnered with California in a climate change initiative? And what does Canada do next, after doing nothing in recent years while waiting for Washington to take the lead?
The resignation Thursday of Jim Prentice as federal environment minister only underscores the drift in Canadian policy-making. Perhaps because he was reined in by Prime Minister Stephen Harper, Prentice never mapped out a plan of action on global warming. Now he leaves a rudderless department without a captain.
Ottawa’s inaction reflects an undeniable global inertia. Politicians who dare to lead on pricing carbon risk voter wrath, as Stéphane Dion discovered. One year after the near-collapse of a UN summit on global warming in Copenhagen, follow-up negotiations in Mexico this month appear to be headed nowhere.
Still, the problem will not go away. The scientific consensus on climate change remains. But a political consensus remains elusive.
A carbon tax became law in B.C. But Dion’s proposal for a similar tax across Canada was resoundingly rebuffed by voters. Cap-and-trade was said to be a preferable alternative. But the necessary enabling legislation never passed the U.S. Senate, and now cap-and-trade appears dead.
There are some silver linings in these clouds. As U.S. President Barack Obama noted in the election aftermath, “Cap-and-trade was just one way of skinning the cat; it was not the only way.” The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is still poised to regulate carbon emissions next year. And California is pressing ahead with its plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels within a decade.
Here in Ontario, the provincial government is closing coal-fired plants and investing in renewable energy. But in Ottawa, Harper seems content to wait and watch from the sidelines while others lead the way. Little wonder his environment minister has opted to cap-and-trade himself out of the portfolio and into the private sector.
El contenido de las noticias que se presentan en esta sección es responsabilidad directa de las agencias emisoras de noticias y no necesariamente reflejan la posición del Gobierno de México en este u otros temas relacionados.
- Detrás de Cámaras
- Galería de Medios
- Notas de prensa
Page 'Breadcrumb' Navigation:
Site 'Main' Navigation: