Friday, September 29, 2006

Fallout from the auditor general's climate change report

After reading the news this morning, I looked at my old Globe op-ed on climate change policy, published before the 2004 election (the Martin minority). With the Liberals and Conservatives in mind, I wrote that try as you might to ignore it, climate change is one issue that will not go away, so you'd better come up with a plan.

Well, here we are. Still bickering after all these years.

The Conservative government is keeping quiet on whether any of the recommendations in the Auditor General's report are addressed in the greenhouse gas component of the new Made-in-Canada plan (to be released next week). Most likely, the answer is no. Instead, their focus has been on the auditor general report's well-founded criticism of the previous Liberal government's plan and on Stephane Dion, the former environment minister and now Liberal leadership candidate. Dion's rebuttal has been strong:


... called into question Prime Minister Stephen Harper's environmental policies."The prime minister does not believe in the science of climate change," Dion said, describing it as "the worst ecological threat that humanity is facing."


.. he said the previous Liberal government proposed a better plan to fight climate change in its last months in power, called "Project Green" -- only to have it axed by the incoming Conservative government. The plan would have cost an estimated $10 billion over eight years, to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 270 megatonnes between 2008 and 2012.

"It's very important for people to understand (the report) is not about the last plan that we released on April 2005 - the plan that was killed by Mr. Harper," Dion told Mike Duffy Live. "It's about what we have done the years before. And we agree with what she said. It's why Mr. Martin last year brought his ministers together and came up with a much more compelling plan, that would have helped Canada to reach its Kyoto targets on time."

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