Saturday, November 24, 2007

Harpie the global warming gambler

Harper is taking a huge gamble with the position he's taken at the Commonwealth meetings on climate change, to say the least. What I'm wondering is whether negotiations of any kind have been occurring in the background, if any, with the Americans on the problem of committing to binding targets for emission reductions. Does Harper know something we don't or is he just continuing to delude himself that George W. Bush will do what he has refused to do for seven years? Here are some comments from Harper post-debacle:
So Canada helped rewrite the Commonwealth resolution.

It now says all countries should seek to reduce their emissions, but suggests those reductions could be voluntary instead of mandatory.

A diplomat from another Commonwealth country described Canada's position - that there's no deal unless everyone agrees - as a recipe for inertia on climate change.

But Harper pointed out that Canada's position at the Commonwealth is identical to the one it took at the G8 and APEC summits.

"We will not agree to a framework that binds some countries and not others, because that's a recipe for failing on the issue of climate change," he told a news conference.

"We already have a protocol like that and it doesn't work. So we need a protocol that involves everybody. I think we're on solid ground.

As for binding emissions targets: "Canada's view is that we need binding targets on all nations. That's going to be the approach we're going to take to international negotiations."
I would find it hard to believe that they would put themselves so far out there on this position-poor ledge without having something up their sleeves. Are they this stupid?

Or, is it just as simple as acknowledging that, yes, indeed they are. In which case I'd agree with this blogger, who sums up Harper's folly, if that's what it is, quite well.