Sunday, November 29, 2015

Canada’s New Leadership Reverses Course on Climate Change

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau with high school students in Ottawa after an information session on climate change. (Credit: Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press, via Associated Press) Click to Enlarge.
In less than a month, Canada has executed a complete about-face on global climate change.

With the defeat of the Conservatives in the October general election, out went nearly a decade of Canada making itself something of a global outcast on the issue. The record of the former prime minister, Stephen Harper, on climate change was marked by retreat, foot-dragging, and hand-wringing over the economic consequences of moving too quickly.

The new prime minister, Justin Trudeau, and his Liberals are now trying to make up for lost time. And along with the left-leaning New Democrats, who wrested power from the Conservatives in the oil-rich province of Alberta last spring, they have now moved climate-change policy to the top of the country’s political agenda.
Mr. Harper skipped last year’s United Nations climate summit meeting in New York.  But Mr. Trudeau will attend this year’s meeting in Paris next week, and not only that:  He has invited his political opponents and all 10 of the country’s provincial premiers to join the delegation.  He gathered the premiers in Ottawa on Monday for a meeting largely devoted to developing a national strategy.

“We’ll demonstrate that we are serious about climate change,” Mr. Trudeau said after a four-hour dinner with the premiers.  “This means making decisions based on science; it means reducing carbon emissions, including through carbon pricing towards a climate-resilient economy.”  Several of the provincial leaders voiced similar sentiments.
Mr. Trudeau has told the provinces they will be free to reach their emissions targets by whatever means they prefer.  That will preserve the current situation, with some provinces using carbon taxes and others a cap-and-trade system to hold emissions down.

Read more at Canada’s New Leadership Reverses Course on Climate Change

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