November 1, 2002
The Calgary Herald
Is it time to spurn Kyoto?
Today's news from the United Nations climate change meetings in New Delhi
(Canada's clean-energy credits spurned, Calgary Herald, October 31, 2002, A11)
indicates Canada's carefully crafted clean energy credit request will not be
accepted at the meeting. Will we elicit a promise of more discussion after
Canada ratifies the accord? Most likely we will. This will be yet another carrot
proffered, ultimately to be snatched away, as we continue our compulsive rush to
Early in the negotiating process, carbon dioxide accounting rules saddled Canada
with a charge for CO2 equivalent emissions from our forest products. This
amounted to 150 million tonnes in Canada's reporting to the United Nations for
1998. About two thirds of those products are exported so the ultimate emissions
from them will actually be from other countries.
Our Prime Minister announced before the Kyoto meeting in 1997 we would
expect to receive credits for our exports of nuclear technology and natural gas.
At a subsequent meeting Canada was asked to "refrain" from seeking credits for
Now it appears Canada's well-reasoned request for 70 million tonnes of
credits for clean energy from hydro electricity exports and natural gas will
fall by the wayside.
The Kyoto Protocol does not recognize the fact that Canada is still relatively
unpopulated and has great potential for growth - unlike many of the countries
that have already ratified Kyoto. Canada is expected, by them, to cap it's
greenhouse gas emissions as stringently as them.
We are not compelled to accept Kyoto as a means to reduce greenhouse gas
emissions. Canada is not getting a fair shake from Kyoto proponents. It seems
time that we spurn Kyoto and seriously consider alternatives more appropriate to
our growing population and economy.