Wednesday Night #824

Written by  //  December 17, 1997  //  Michael Judson, Misha Crnobrnja, Reports, Wednesday Nights  //  No comments

17 December 1997

This was the first Wednesday after the wrap-up of the Kyoto Protocol meeting and we, naturally, looked at the results of the Conference and what the impact will be, not only on Canada, but also on other regions of the world (including India). We were lucky to have Janine Ferretti of the NAFTA Environmental Cooperation Commission (CEC) with us, as well as her husband, Gary Gallon of the Canadian Institute for Business & the Environment (CIBE) and Dr. Mihailo Crnobrnja who is, among his many other attributes, an environmental economist.
The Kyoto conference, despite a public wobbly policy start, gave Canada an opportunity to play an important part in bringing the U.S., Europe and Japan together with respect to limiting emissions. However, it seems evident that the Liberal government does not believe that the Environment is among the most pressing issues and this despite the fact that Alberta is on fire (brush fires) and the ice caps are melting. (How quickly we forget the floods in Manitoba!) Ontario and Alberta are leading the lobby to persuade the Feds to soften positions and the provinces are increasingly making the decisions.
Janine Ferretti was at the conference. She feels that the U.S. will do a lot to honour its commitments before Senate ratification. She stated that all countries realize that actions must be taken against global warming. It all started in Toronto in 1988 when scientists insisted that there must be 20% reduction. Rio was a feel-good session, filled with pious hopes. Kyoto produced hard numbers – 5.2% reduction. A brief discussion of the methane emissions from cow flatulence brought the conversation to India with mention of the efficiency of the recycling of every scrap of material available to the poor. India has contributed 24% less per capita to global warming than any other country.
Reported by Michael Judson

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