Friday, November 23, 2007

Canada Stalls Commonwealth Climate Deal

This is the sort of Global Leadership Harper touts. Canada is now on the world stage as Harper would claim but as a spoiler. The United States is not present in the Commonwealth to sabotage meaningful environmental progress so it falls upon Harper to play the role. In spite of the fact that developed countries pollute many multiples what developing countries do in terms of per capita emissions Harper wants not to set any hard targets until other developing countries and the US agree. In other words Canada is leading the Commonwealth backwards or at least trying to.

Canada stalls Commonwealth climate deal - World - Canada stalls Commonwealth climate deal

November 23, 2007
KAMPALA, Uganda — The Commonwealth summit in Uganda is close to a resolution calling for international climate-change targets — but Canada is being accused of blocking a deal.
Sources say Canada will not support an agreement unless it specifically demands the participation of major emitters, like India, China, and the United States, who have so far resisted binding targets.

Several foreign diplomats said almost every country in the 52-member Commowealth supports an agreement, and they described Canada as a rare holdout.

A deal among Commonwealth members could provide a major breakthrough on the eve of global climate-change negotiations in Bali, Indonesia.

A spokeswoman for Prime Minister Stephen Harper did not mention any country by name but said the world’s biggest polluters will need to be part of any agreement.

”We would not support a binding target only for some emitters — especially if that excludes major emitters,” Harper spokeswoman Sandra Buckler said in an email.

One Commonwealth diplomat said Canada is among less than a handful of countries resisting a resolution that calls for international targets.

Another called Canada’s position rare — but not unique — in the 52-member Commonwealth.

British Foreign Secretary David Miliband avoided pointing the finger at Canada directly.

”I’m too much of a politician and a diplomat to be drawn into comments — positive or negative,” he told The Canadian Press in an interview.

He said no country denies the science of climate change or the need for an international deal — including Canada.

And again without mentioning Canada, he described some countries’ you-first attitude that is holding up progress at climate talks: “(It’s), ’I will if you will,’ on the one hand. And, `you first,’ on the other.”

He called a climate deal critical heading into the world climate change negotiations in Bali.

Given that the Commonwealth represents both rich and poor countries from all continents, he says such an agreement this week would create much-needed momentum.

”The British government will be working very hard over the next 48 hours to ensure that the message that comes out from leaders is strong and clear and loud,” he said.

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