Site Administrator Of:

Supporter Of:

Archives

How can the NDP swallow this from Baird?

This is NOT encouraging from Canada’s “new” Environment Minister on how he intends to go after Canada’s emissions of Greenhouse Gases:

Baird says this will be done using intensity targets which require companies to produce fewer emissions per unit of output – but could still allow total emissions to increase.

So we’re back to intensity targets now, are we? This is the very thing that was discredited by everyone back when the original Clean Air Act was proposed, because it didn’t have any hard caps targets on it.

Baird also had this to say:

Baird rejects the notion of green taxes to promote more careful use of energy by individuals and small businesses which account for the other half of Canada’s emissions.

This is related to Dion’s plan to give tax breaks to individuals or businesses that show environmental responsibility. The 2nd part is an important debate to have, but it is the first statement that is most troublesome. I don’t see how the NDP can accept any Clean Air Act amendments without having hard caps in place – and indeed their private members bill from Jack Layton specifically calls for hard cap targets. There is nothing in their bill that even remotely suggests intensity based targets should be used – and they’re right. The other Opposition Parties matter too, but the onus is on the NDP since they’re the ones who forced Harper to send this straight to Committee rather then reject it outright. It is in their hands to either force Baird to include hard caps in these CAA amendments/reject the notion of intensity targets, or if he and the Tories will not yield, to defeat the Bill outright.

I have said before I am perfectly willing to support (with a few amendments) the Jack Layton/NDP private members bill, and try to get it passed in the House, as its a superior bill to the Tories version. I think the time is getting near where we see if the NDP refuses to yield its principles on this or not. No one has ever suggested this would be a motion of non-confidence if the Clean Air Act was defeated, so the NDP need not worry about causing a election they don’t want by ditching this poor effort.

Baird and Harper can make fun of Dion’s dog all they want, but if they insist on intensity targets being the means of tackling climate change over hard caps, the only “dog” is the Clean Air Act, and the NDP would do well for them (and all of us) to find a new pet.

Share

22 comments to How can the NDP swallow this from Baird?

  • Troy

    How could the liberal gov. expect to meet any Kyoto targets when they had justs basically jumped in bed with oil industry?

  • Troy

    Here is a testament to the Liberals record on the environment, from an article in EYE weekly, April 18,1996:

    “Rather than push the envelope of environment-friendly technology, Ottawa continues to throw its support behind the industry that gives us greenhouse gas emissions, smog and acid rain.

    The federal budget that won finance Minister Paul Martin such general approval contained a largely unnoticed amendment to the Capital Cost Allowance section of the Federal Income Tax Act.

    It was a wonderful gift to the oil industry from the Liberals, no doubt, among other things, guaranteeing the re-election of Energy Minister Ann McClellan in Alberta. Led by Syncrude boss Eric Newell, the blue-eyed sheiks had lobbied furiously for $702 million in new tax breaks over the next eight years to kick-start tar sands development.

    They got almost exactly what they asked for in Martin’s second budget.

    It took the form of a new writeoff. In the past, a tar sands producer could only write off the value of his investment over the life of the property, and then only in the case of major expansions.

    Henceforth, courtesy of smiling Liberals covering their western flank, when a company digs a hole in Alberta’s northern boreal forest, it can write off the entire cost immediately.

    OK, cowboys, off you go!

    Unfortunately, tar sands production is known to devastate delicate northern ecosystems.

    Greenpeace’s atmosphere and energy campaigner, Kevin Jardine, points to a study by the Pembina Institute which claims that the production of synthetic crude oil from tar sands generates 10 times more carbon dioxide, as well as 12 times more sulphur dioxide and three times as much nitrogen oxides, as the production of ordinary oil.

    Jardine adds: “Martin’s defense of the tax breaks is that they will create jobs, but the oil industry is one of the least labor-intensive industries in the Canadian economy. A million dollars spent on oil production creates, on average, about seven jobs. By diverting money away from the general economy into the job-poor oil industry, Martin will actually increase unemployment.”

    The sheer scale of the tax loopholes already available to the oil industry is awesome.

    Oil companies owe $10 billion in deferred federal income tax, which was one-quarter of the total of $40 billion owed by Canadian corporations in 1994.

    They can defer indefinitely.

    And then there were those grants amounting to $341 million that the feds handed out last year to the oil companies. As well, the government paid for another $229 million in economic analysis and marketing that the oil companies really ought to be doing for themselves instead of behaving, if you’ll excuse the expression, like tar babies.”

    Doesn’t sound like a government with any plans on reducing greenhouse gas production.

  • “The liberal party has no right to criticize a governments environmental policy that has only been in power for 1 year, when the Liberals did not reduced emisions at all in the 12 years they were in power. Dion knows this. He wants to pull the wool over an entire nation in order to get back into power.”

    Blah blah blah. Been to my site recently?

    😉

    FWIW, Kyoto has only been around since 1997 and was not ratified by Parliament until 2002, so anything beginning “12 years…” is horseshit, if you’ll pardon my frankness. Kyoto is 10 years, max and closer to 5 years old in Canada.

    As for “intensity based targets”, let me remind you that if we measured Canada’s GHG emissions since 1990 as intensity based targets, we are 14% ahead. Yay! Declare victory and go home! Of course the fact that during that time our actual emissions rose so we are actually 27% higher than before means that intensity-based targets don’t work.

    Intensity based targets are just a new way to “cook the books” to allow industry to continue to actually do nothing or pollute more, while looking like they did it on paper. Its the same “creative accounting” teqchnicqes that the Liberals in Quebec were once known for – and they became the ‘Libranos’ – only applied to climate change targets. Can we now call the CPC ‘La Conservative Nostra’?

    Intensity based targets do not work in reality and anyone who supports them is either a fool, an industry shill or doesn’t give a damn about what the climate will be like in 20 years.

  • Troy

    Maybe he is saying that because it just might happen to be the truth!!!
    How can a country immediately reduce its emmisions to pre 1990 levels, when the population of said country is quite a bit higher than it was 17 years ago? Each of these people required food, which is grown with fossil fuel based petrochemicals, cultivated with tractors burning fossil fuels, shipped, stored, cooked, and and so on with fossil fuels.. Try looking at the straight picture. We as a world are dependant on fossil fuels.
    How do you propose the Conservatives should handle this? Enact a dictatorship and declare that from now on anyone who produces carbon is instantly locked up or killed? Think about it!
    All Harper has been saying is that in todays present economic reality, it is impossible for any country to reduce co2 emissions without drastically harming an entire population in very bad ways. We built the rollercoaster of our fossil fuel dependencny, and now we have to figure out how to get off of it without crashing the entire ride. To continue like we are may very well bring about massive destructive climate change, but to stop using fossil fuels immediately will result in mass starvation and death also. It’s becoming less and less popular to be of this viewpoint, but unfortunately its the only viewpoint I can with good concsious support.

    The liberal party has no right to criticize a governments environmental policy that has only been in power for 1 year, when the Liberals did not reduced emisions at all in the 12 years they were in power. Dion knows this. He wants to pull the wool over an entire nation in order to get back into power.

    [quote comment=”1278″]”So were back to intensity targets now, are we?”

    -Scott, I’m not sure if you heard Harper today, but he
    -reintroduced Ambrose’s discredited line, saying Canadians
    -wouldn’t be able to drive or heat their homes if we do what the
    -opposition asks. “Planes, trains, automobiles”? The more you
    -hear, the more you realize that nothing has changed, except the -packaging.

    Intensity targets= unmitigated copout[/quote]

  • Troy claimed:

    [quote comment=”1288″]
    In addition to crippling our economy and causing untold of poverty and despair, [/quote]

    Oh brother.. :em49: …another denier claiming Kyoto is the end of the economic world if we implement it. You have no basis in fact in making this statement Troy.

    Yes, China and India (and the US) aren’t involved in Kyoto.. but we don’t end a global warming treaty and throw our hands up in the air that was signed by 140 countries because a few countries refused to sign. You keep trying to persuade them its in the planet’s best interest to do so, and if that doesn’t work, you coerce them – France’s proposal to impose “carbon taxes” or tariffs on countries who refuse to sign on to Kyoto is 1 such option – I am sure others can also be used if necessary – to make it more prohibitive to not sign on then to opt out.

    And yes, Troy, there are plenty of other environmental problems out there, but who said everyone was focused on 1 thing? I am sure we can all chew gum and walk at the same time. We can deal with multiple issues at once; it just so happens global warming and climate change is very much in the public spotlight right now – as it should be.

  • Troy

    How can you say that a country such as Canada which has a growing population and a large number of immigrants can possibly not have some growth in CO2 emissions? It is faulty logic to assume that taxation of business will have a negative effect on carbon emissions anyways; the only negative effect will be in loss of jobs to countries such as China and India, who to my understnding are exempt from the Kyoto protocol. It will no longer be econimocal for industry to produce in Canada (not that much is really produced here now anyways, but it can get much worse). It was reported in the news this month that China is already planning or building coal-fired generators on a massive scale (somewhere inthe order of thousands). Could it be that they are already planning ahead for the huge economic boom that will come to them in a Kyoto world?
    In addition to crippling our economy and causing untold of poverty and despair, the only way for our country to compete after Kyoto will be to build a massive nuclear energy program, a scheme that will pollute our world with radioactive waste and add to the terrorist threat greatly in terms of easier availability of fissionable material for WMDs. Nuclear energy is massively expensive and in no way ‘clean’.

    Why are we being forced into taking a politicized, reactionary approach to global warming? One only has to look at the situation to realize that there are many sides to this issue, and many camps that stand to gain a great deal from pushing this mass-hysteria onto the public, while ignoring all other environmental issues. What about the rainforests? I guess they are no longer disappearing? And water pollution has been taken care of? Think people! Don’t always take whats told to you be the media as fact. Most of the time the media has a reson or something to gain by pushing one side of an issue…

  • lrC

    >Intensity targets= unmitigated copout

    Why? If we set a limit on the allowable emissions for a tonne of Canadian-produced steel and then imposed tariffs to ensure a marked preference for consumption of Canadian steel (and steel products from raw bulk down to Dinky Toys), the combination of intensity targets and tariffs should have the effect of moving the preference for steel from high emitters to low (ie. competitive with Canadian producers according to the new price structure) ones. Asian producers, for example, could either match emission standards or lose Canadian market share. Canadian producers could increase productive output to make up the difference in domestic demand. The sum of total Canadian steel consumption would, ideally, be the same, but the sum of GHG outputs would be reduced.

  • lrC

    >Are you suggesting that if he were to be elected, hed throw all that out the window?

    I’m stating – not suggesting – that a politician’s promises to get elected aren’t worth very much.

    I’m not taking my estimates from the oil lobby. The “little guy” is the voter who has a home to heat and a commute to work and, above all, a job. Put any one of those in jeopardy and see what comes apart under the strain. I’m betting a Liberal government will at least make sure it isn’t their hold on the House.

  • “So were back to intensity targets now, are we?”

    Scott, I’m not sure if you heard Harper today, but he re-introduced Ambrose’s discredited line, saying Canadians wouldn’t be able to drive or heat their homes if we do what the opposition asks. “Planes, trains, automobiles”? The more you hear, the more you realize that nothing has changed, except the packaging.

    Intensity targets= unmitigated copout

  • If you don’t have hard caps and real reductions, you have nothing. Therefore if Layton moves at all on these, he has lost the issue. That’s a matter of letting the science and the timelines determine the politics.

    And remember, LrC, the oil patch and the car companies have always cried doom when asked to do ANYTHING differently. I don’t doubt there will be mixed economic impacts, but there is no reason to take your estimates from the oil lobby.

  • Dion has based his entire leadership run and his entire time as Opposition leader campaigning on the environmental issue. Are you suggesting that if he were to be elected, he’d throw all that out the window?

  • lrC

    >we can have a bill that has hard caps in it

    Yes we can, but this particular type of legislation is going to crash into some fairly hard economic and engineering realities down at the “little guy” level. I predict a still birth, because I doubt very much the Liberals want to do more with this issue than win an election. It’s the equivalent of a promise to remove the GST or cancel the FTA.

  • Anonymouse asked:
    [quote comment=”1269″] Are you a member of Parliament or a staffer? Curious… :em04:[/quote]

    Neither.. tho if you know anyone hiring staffers, let me know :em43:

  • The Tories wouldn’t have a choice LrC, if the NDP insist on it..minority government, remember?

    And, I’ve already stated that Layton’s proposed private members bill on this does have hard caps. It would probably have the support of the Liberals and the BQ, and it could be passed over the Tories objections. So, unless Harper threatens to call an election over it, (highly unlikely), we can have a bill that has hard caps in it, whether “Baird minimum” likes it or not.

  • lrC

    >This is the very thing that was discredited by everyone back when the original Clean Air Act was proposed, because it didnt have any hard caps targets on it.

    Insisting on “caps or nothing” is a good way to end up with nothing. I try not to unnecessarily reduce my options, but that’s just me.

  • ottawacon

    I am no big fan of intensity targets, but there are two simple facts to consider:

    i) An intensity target can be more stringent than a hard cap, it is just that when George Bush says it, he appears to mean 0.99 of today’s 1.0. However, a 0.6 target is more stringent than anything in the world today.

    ii) The Liberals introduced intensity targets to Canada, Stephane Dion, not Rona Ambrose. Dion’s LFE plan was based on intensity targets.

  • Anonymouse

    I have said before I am perfectly willing to support (with a few amendments) the Jack Layton/NDP private members bill, and try to get it passed in the House, as its a superior bill to the Tories version.

    Are you a member of Parliament or a staffer? Curious… :em04:

  • Well lets hope these can be done away with in negotiations.

    It still adds to my worry that the Cons are simply not sincere in their new environmental champions role.

    Intensity-based targets don’t work and are a gift to industry to allow them to keep polluting and producing GHG. I cannot imagine Jack and the party agreeing to that.

    If they do, I join the Greens for an election.

    Hard caps or no deal, I say.

  • my sentiments exactly.

  • […] How can the NDP swallow this from Baird? – Scott’s DiaTribes […]

  • […] In reference to Syncrude, and other Alberta oil companies, Ralph Klein said on Adler today, “These companies know what is right for them.” The smart people at those companies will decide when their production increases come to an end, and they can’t pump out any more due to “infrastructure issues“. […]

unique visitors since the change to this site domain on Nov 12, 2008.