Canada’s Fair Share in a Climate Constrained World

Canada’s Fair Share in a Climate Constrained Worldstudy
By Tom Athanasiou, Sivan Kartha, Paul Baer and Eric Kemp-Benedic
An analysis of Canada’s climate obligations under the Greenhouse Development Rights Framework.

"Later this year the world will come together in Copenhagen in a desperate attempt to finalize a new global climate agreement. As recent science makes clear, the stakes could not be higher. Climate change poses a grave threat to us all, and to the world’s most vulnerable people in particular. And though time is running out, we have thus far failed to rise to the challenge. Tackling the climate crisis will require an unprecedented and mammoth effort – both in the scale of the response that the science tells us is necessary, and in the level of international political cooperation that will be required. Frankly, the situation demands an emergency global mobilization, one that must come even while billions of people in developing countries are still struggling to escape poverty.
In Canada, climate change policy has been dominated by short-term approaches that have systematically sacrificed responsible commitments in favor of sectoral interests. The result is that, while many Canadians are responsible global citizens and want their country to play a constructive role on the world stage, Canada’s record on climate change has been entirely undistinguished. Frankly, Canada has been part of the problem, not part of the solution. This is a situation that Canada must quickly put behind it. The pre-Copenhagen negotiations have not been going at all well, and Canada can hardly claim to be helping. Indeed, its actions are often cited as evidence that a much stronger compliance regime is necessary. Moreover, Canada, which has long hidden behind the laggard policies of previous US administrations, must now contend with a popular and capable American president who intends to act boldly in the face of the economic, ecological and security threats posed by climate change. In this context, Canadians badly need to take a hard, fresh look at the climate challenge, and at their place in the necessary global response."

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