Critics accuse Canada of abandoning Kyoto

– Talk is cheap. Canada signed up for Kyoto which was commendable. But, when the rubber hit the road, they essentially did nothing. Now, they are going to try to put a good spin on it all by making new grandiose plans for what they will do (really) by 2050. I see it all as just a way to avoid real action. Unfortunately, as the cost of real action becomes apparent, many countries are backing away hoping someone else will come forward and make the sacrifice. And all the while, like a spring building up tension, nature is being pushed harder and harder by our denial and inattention. A Perfect Storm of consequence is coming.

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TORONTO, Ontario (AP) — Canada’s government introduced legislation Thursday that would cut greenhouse gas emissions in half by 2050, a target date that prompted critics to declare that Ottawa effectively has abandoned the international Kyoto accord on climate change.

The proposed Clean Air Act, intended to counter claims that Prime Minister Stephen Harper is soft on the environment, sets no short-term targets for cutting greenhouse emissions. In the long term, it says the government would seek to cut emissions 45 percent to 65 percent by 2050.

Under the Kyoto accord, Canada pledged to cut its emissions by 6 percent from 1990 levels by 2012. The country’s emissions are now 30 percent above 1990 levels.

The legislation, which must be passed by the House of Commons, is certain to get a rough ride from opposition parties who say the act is far too weak and makes no reference to Canada’s commitments under the Kyoto treaty.

“What we can see now is that no matter what the government says about not pulling out of Kyoto, we officially pulled out of Kyoto today,” said John Bennett of the Sierra Club of Canada.

“There is no intention now to even try to achieve what we had pledged; we have decided to abandon our international commitment,” he said.

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