Time for Stefan Dion!

Like other groups pushing for action on climate change 4RG is relieved that voters rejected the Conservative government.

The Liberal government to be has already deftly torpedoed the Keystone XL pipeline: Justin Trudeau has confirmed to President Obama that any US decision on Keystone – a clear reference to Obama’s possible veto – will not undermine relations between the two countries.

The Liberal election platform supported Keystone. But given Trudeau’s promise to Obama, that support is now a political irrelevancy!

Stephen Harper may continue to complain about US bad faith but such comments will change nothing.  Keystone will only go ahead if the Republicans win the White House in 2016.

Now the Prime Minister elect and the premiers of Quebec, Ontario and BC, the three most populous Canadian provinces, agree on the need for action on climate change.  To demonstrate their commitment, they will be part of the Canadian delegation at COP 21.

We wish there was more time to allow further consultation at the Federal-Provincial level and with the Canadian people before COP 21.   The trouble is that for the next several weeks the Liberals will be pre-occupied with transition strategy.

There is no doubt that the Liberals will listen to environmental organizations that are making forceful submissions on the Canadian participation in COP21.    But the issues standing in the way of an agreement are incredibly difficult.

The Canadian delegation to Paris must include a Federal Minister who enjoys international stature on environmental issues.  This is the time for the political re-emergence of Stephan Dion.

Canada is unlikely to be a leader at COP 21.  But at least it will not be dragging its feet.

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