The United Nations Climate Summit starts today. How will our political leaders react to the message of the PCM?
Some, like Canada’s Stephen Harper, will not show up at the UN Summit – a simple but effective strategy that avoids awkward questions from the media at this politically sensitive time.
One excuse that will be advanced for Harper’s absence is that other heads of state, representing countries such as India and China, are not attending. These countries will be represented at the summit: the Chinese Deputy Premier will attend while India will be represented by its Minister of the Environment. A spokesperson for the US Government observed that these individuals are the most influential figures on climate change issues in their country.
Contrast that situation with Canada, which will be represented by its Minister of the Environment, Leona Aglukkaq. Nothing this Minister has said suggests she regards climate change as a problem. Nothing she has said confirms Canada will take new measures to curb GHG emissions.
Yesterday her Department issued a press release on vehicle emission standards to which the Minister may refer when in New York. These standards follow similar regulations proposed by the US at the beginning of President Obama’s second term. Peter Kent, Canada’s former Minister of the Environment, announced two years ago that Canada would follow this lead of the US.
No news and no new actions in this press release but it will give the Minister talking points if questioned about Canada’s performance on climate change.
Small wonder that placards in the PCM denounced Harper as a climate change criminal. Strong words provoked by the climate change scepticism of Canada’s Government.