Monday, October 20, 2008

Harper unveils 100 million to deal with climate change in developing countries

This is better than nothing but Harper does not seem to have worked out any details at all as yet. His own record on climate change issues is rather dismal. Maybe he should clean up his own backyard as well.

PM unveils $100M for climate - Canada - PM unveils $100M for climate

Offers few details about fund to help developing countries deal with global warming issues
October 20, 2008 Andrew ChungQuebec Bureau Chief
QUEBEC CITY–Despite criticism that his government hasn't done enough to deal with climate change here in Canada, Prime Minister Stephen Harper yesterday announced $100 million to help poor countries deal with the pressing environmental issue.
The money will be distributed this fiscal year primarily through international development organizations, Harper announced during the closing press conference of the summit of la Francophonie, held in Quebec City.
"Those monies are to be distributed almost exclusively to countries that aren't major contributors to climate change, or major sources of greenhouse gas emissions," Harper said, "but nonetheless will be affected" by climate change.
Targeted regions include the poorest countries in Africa, the Caribbean and South Pacific.
The Francophonie is an organization of 55 countries where French is spoken; it is largely comprised of developing countries in Africa once colonized by France or Belgium.
Harper also voiced the need for the world to keep trade routes open and fight protectionism as the planet spins through a financial slowdown.
Developing countries in particular need access to trade opportunities, he said.
"We have to remember that the countries of the south are certainly not responsible and not the source of this particular crisis in any way, shape or form," Harper said of the global economic downturn.
Harper said there are two things the world should not be doing during the slowdown.
One is allowing an unregulated banking system to spiral into collapse; the other is to start slamming doors to trade.
"It's essential for all the countries of the world, but particularly developing countries, to have access to markets and to have access to opportunity.
"If we start slamming our doors on anybody – on each other or on the developing countries – we will all pay a very big price for that," the prime minister said.
As for the climate change fund, Harper said it hasn't been decided yet exactly what programs the money will fund.
His government has rejected the original greenhouse gas targets of the Kyoto Protocol as unattainable. Kyoto called for a 6 per cent cut in greenhouse gas emissions from 1990 levels by 2012.
Canada's emission levels have risen 27 per cent since 1990.
With respect to Kyoto, Harper would only say that his government is participating in post-Kyoto negotiations.
Earlier this summer, Harper hailed G-8 leaders for agreeing to a 50 per cent greenhouse gas reduction by 2050.
"Our government has always been convinced we must find a concrete and truly planetary solution to climate change," Harper said.
"All emitting countries must contribute to this solution, and Canada will do its part. We are conscious of the fact developing countries can afford to do more."
The Francophonie focused yesterday on discussing the promotion and facilitation of the French language around the world.
Previous days were spent primarily on the global financial crisis, and delegates here supported France's call for a summit on the reorganization of capitalism in the face of unregulated markets.
With files from The Canadian Press

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