In a pre-summit interview with CNN, the Prime Minister insisted that Canada's climate-change policy has been hamstrung by the inaction of its largest trading partner.Remarkable to hear. Harper doesn't have clean hands here whatsoever. The Canadian public knows his obstinate and do-nothing record, he's "Kyoto is a socialist scheme" guy and he's "intensity targets" guy:
“In Canada, we've been wrestling for the last decade or so with our desire to try to have a regime, a regulatory regime, that would diminish our own carbon emissions. But we've been trying to do so in an integrated economy when the United States has not been willing to do so,” Mr. Harper said in an interview to be broadcast in two parts yesterday and today.
“I think quite frankly the fact that we have a President and an administration that wants to see some kind of regulation on this is an encouragement.”(emphasis added)
Stephen Harper's plan uses "intensity" targets for industry, an approach that allows pollution to grow as firms increase their production. The federal government projects that its targets would allow emissions from Alberta's oil sands to nearly triple between 2006 and 2017.The world knows his record, as demonstrated in Bali at the conference on climate change in December 2007:
In the U.S., intensity targets are not on the table; they're seen as a vestige of the Bush administration's failed approach. Both Barack Obama and John McCain have pledged a cap-and-trade system that puts hard caps on pollution.
At every step of the way, Canada was portrayed – by its domestic critics and its international counterparts – as a leading voice for the obstructionist camp. Its insistence that it was not undermining an activist international consensus on climate change was undercut by its obvious isolation.And those sitting across from him today absolutely know the Harper record. Including Carol Browner, Obama's climate "czarina":
Strong résumé in environmental protection, law and management consulting, and a clear determination to break from the Bush record, which she has called “the worst environmental administration ever.” She was administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency under President Bill Clinton for nearly eight years, the longest anyone has held that position.They know what the score is. Trying to run away from your record, pretend it's something else and blame others, on CNN, on the eve of a summit like this, it's very disingenuous, craven and opportunistic. Quite a moment.
[h/t FarNWide; Mound of Sound; Pogge]