Canada was severely criticized by many nations for its refusal to take immediate action regarding global warming. They attacked the refusal of the Canadian government to reject any future climate treaty unless it sets emission targets for all major polluters. The Canadian position is that any successor treaty to the Kyoto Protocol must set binding conditions on countries like the United States, China, and India, nations which rank among the world’s most dangerous polluters. Yvo de Boer, the UN climate chief, wondered how a rich nation like Canada could abandon its own targets under Kyoto, then demand that developing countries like China and India should adopt binding obligations.
To make matters worse for the Canadian delegation, Quebec’s Line Beauchamp and Ontario’s John Gerretsen made it clear the Ottawa government does not speak for their provinces. As Gerretsen, noted, “If the U.S. is not willing to sign on, does that mean nobody should sign on?” Canada’s leaders give talks saying their nation supports efforts at reducing global warming, but when it comes to walking the walk it prefers to talk the talk. Unfortunately, Canada is able to use failures on the part of the Bush administration as a convenient excuse for their own failures in dealing with pollution. Future generations of Canadians who must live with results of present decisions really won’t give a darn why their nation refused to act.