In the Chamber -- Grant Mitchell's Blog

Feeling the heat in Cancun

Posted 11/29/2010 by Senator Grant Mitchell

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Even though the Cancun climate change meeting - the next step after Copenhagen - starts today, Canada is without any kind of plan upon which to base our negotiating position. This week, we heard announcements from the government that we would not follow the US lead and then that we would.

The US cap and trade plan had been, by all accounts, accepted by our government. The prospects of US legislation getting off the ground, however, died with the recent election of a Republican congress that will throw that out.

But, the Obama administration has resorted to another approach. The government can regulate greenhouse gases under their Environmental Protection Agency. The problem for a Canadian government not wanting real climate change action while saying they will follow the US lead is that the US has revealed real commitment to serious action under the EPA. Their regulations will establish stringent emission levels for big emitters and will take effect Jan 2, 2011.

Our Minister of Environment initially said that this would create a patchwork of regulation and Canada would have none of it.

Now, we see what seems to be  the reversal in that position with him indicating that he will try to mimic US action.

The latter is very late in the game for Cancun.  We are still without any plan to meet our 2020 objectives, and with only a part-time Minister of Environment.

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