Thursday, November 17, 2005

Nicely timed

A good chunk of corporate Canada is now demanding action on climate change:
In a seismic shift for the business community, some of Canada's most influential corporate leaders have issued a call for stronger action to fight climate change beyond the Kyoto protocol.

In a letter to Prime Minister Paul Martin obtained by The Canadian Press, the heads of such companies as Alcan, Shell Canada, Bombardier, Power Corp. and Business Depot, come out solidly in support of the controversial climate treaty.

And they urge that Canada's climate-change plan extend beyond the 2008-2012 time frame of the Kyoto protocol.
And lest anybody think the CEOs involved would demand purely private-sector solutions rather than government action:
In their letter to Martin, the CEOs say their companies are already working to reduce greenhouse emissions and to minimize the adverse impact of climate change, but need policy certainty to guide action for post-2012.

"We need a strategy now for the next 50 years, with short and medium-term targets to guide us. Governments must set clear markers along the way to unleash competitive market forces and allow the discovery of a long-term value for carbon emission reductions.

"Only then will we secure the deep reductions needed to prevent human interference with the climate system."
It shouldn't escape mention that the CEOs have rightly concluded that the current Liberal "plan" on Kyoto falls short of policy certainty that would allow for meaningful change. And it's a shame that the current regime is so far behind the curve on any real Kyoto plan when even much of the business community has started to realize the dangers of inaction.

However, there's still very good news in the CEOs going public with their request. At the very least, the business community consensus is the type of agreement that may be able to prod even the Liberals into doing something an election cycle or two down the road. And perhaps more importantly with a campaign about to get underway, the letter highlights one of the many ways in which the NDP's focus on sustainability fits with the demands of the CEOs in particular, as well as the interests of the Canadian economy generally.

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