There was a news story coming out of Canada as reported in the Globe and Mail that Ottawa swoops in with climate-change offer. As reported by the Globe and Mail:
Prime Minister Stephen Harper is proposing to strike a joint climate-change pact with president-elect Barack Obama, an initiative that would seek to protect Alberta's oil sands projects from potentially tough new U.S. climate-change rules by offering a secure North American energy supply...
A Canada-U.S. climate-change pact could tie those issues together by adopting common standards and mechanisms such as a market-based emission trading system, while acknowledging the important contribution the oil sands make to North American supplies and the need to adopt technologies that would reduce oil sands emissions.
Sound like a good deal? I don't think so. It is a poor "opening bid" from the Canada to President-elect Obama as he both seeks to repower America with clean energy and restore America's leadership in international global warming.
I did an interview on the Radio Canada International program The Link yesterday. Here is what I said (and much more):
"It is important for Canada to get their house in order first to address global warming..." (the interview starts at the 2 minute point of "part 2" of the 2008-11-06 episode).
In order to make this proposal "credible" Canada needs to:
- Strengthen their emissions reduction targets;
- Convert their emissions trading system proposal from a carbon-intensity approach to one based upon absolute limits; and
- Stop taking 12 steps back with tar sands for every 1 step forward on global warming pollution (not a good energy or global warming strategy) as my colleague Liz Barratt-Brown and other at NRDC have discussed on tar sands).