Earlier today we posted a report from the London Guardian on the UN climate change talks in Poland. The following report by STEPHEN LEAHY* gives some information about the role played by the Harperites.
DESMOG Warsaw, Poland (Nov. 20) — CANADA has led the way to scuttle the UN climate talks here in Warsaw, Poland taking with it nearly all hope of keeping global warming to less than 2C say members of various international organizations.
Along with 190-plus nations, the Harper government signed an international agreement to keep carbon emissions below 2C at the UN climate talks in Cancun in 2011. And yet here at these very difficult climate talks to create a new treaty to protect the climate, the Canadian delegation considers the 2C target “aspirational” and not especially important according to sources.
The government’s official COP 19 Qs and As webpage fails to mention the 2C target.Canada has unilaterally walked away from it’s international climate commitments including the Kyoto Protocol and the 2009 Copenhagen Accord said Bill Hare, director of Climate Analytics, a German climate science research organization.
Following Canada’s lead, Japan abandoned its Copenhagen target last Friday. Meanwhile, Australia under the Abbott government, has gutted its climate policies making it impossible to reach even its inadequate Copenhagen target Hare told DeSmog here in Warsaw.
The Harper government actually congratulated the Abbott government for doing this.
“These countries’ promises and commitments are not worth the paper they’re written on,” said Hare.
This is creating a “very corrosive atmosphere” here. Why should any country trust Canada, Japan or Australia when these countries have no problem walking away from previous commitments he said.
“We’re in a downward spiral that’s pushing us on a path to 5C a temperature the planet has not seen in 55 million years,” he said.
Even a future where the global average temperature is 4C higher means temperatures in southern Canada will be 10 to 12C hotter than the warmest days. Food production will collapse as well most nations says Alice Bows-Larkin, a climate scientist at the UK’s Tyndall Climate Center.
“A 4C world must be avoided at all costs,” Bows-Larkin said.
This bleak future can be avoided but countries like Canada must cut their carbon emissions 10 percent per year starting now she said.
Instead Canada’s emissions are skyrocketing mainly because of the tar sands. Meanwhile the Harper government tells Canadians it takes climate change seriously and is acting.
* Stephen Leahy is the 2012 co-winner of the Prince Albert/United Nations Global Prize for Climate Change reporting . A Canadian, Leahy is the senior science and environment correspondent at Inter Press Service News Agency (IPS) based in Rome. His work is also published in National Geographic, The Guardian (UK), New Scientist, Al Jazeera, Earth Island Journal and others.