Some clarification please, Mr. Mulcair.

Yesterday, NDP leadership candidate and environmental hawk Thomas Mulcair announced his intention to implement a, “new comprehensive plan to combat climate change.”  According to his press release, “Mulcair’s new plan would still be industry-focused and based on the principle that ‘polluters pay’, but it would expand beyond the 700 largest emitters in Canada to cover all major sources of climate change pollution.” Want to understand what this means?  Here are three questions you should ask – Who’s covered? What’s the cap?  Who gets the permits?

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Globe Article and Reader Comments

Last week, I summarized my two (#1 and #2) posts on Kyoto compliance and withdrawal into a shorter piece on the Globe and Mail’s Economy Lab.  One of my regular readers, who unfortunately prefers to remain in anonymity and wrap his/her sometimes insightful comments in insults and derision, points out that there are important differences in timing between the Kyoto compliance period and the period in which penalties for non-compliance would be levied.

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Canada’s climate challenge: 1 out of 3 ain’t good enough.

Canada needs to offer up more than easy soundbites and appeals to Nature editorials to move from a climate change laggard to a leader. Today, Canada re-affirmed its position that it would not be signing on to a new commitment period for the Kyoto protocol, and you can count me among those who expect an announcement later this month that Canada is withdrawing from the Kyoto protocol in general.    The question which remains is, “what now?”

Today in the House of Commons, Conservative MP after Conservative MP detailed the government’s commitment to putting the policies in place to meet their pledge to reduce emissions to 17% below 2005 levels by 2020. Even if that proves to be the case, I fear it will not be good enough to move Canada from laggard to leader in the eyes of both international observers and more importantly Canadians. In order to do that, I think there are three elements on which Canada needs to deliver, and meeting our targets is just one of the three.

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