Thursday, February 16, 2006


It'll be awhile before we know what precisely the Cons plan to do when it comes to the environment. But Rona Ambrose sent an interesting signal yesterday, rejecting emissions credit trading while at the same time staying mum on Kyoto as a whole:
Canada's new environment minister says she won't support trading emissions credits with other nations or any other international deal that does not have a "direct environmental benefit to Canadians."

Rona Ambrose said she does not see the trading of emissions credits with other countries as being a high priority in her mandate of "cleaning up the air Canadians breathe."...

"On Kyoto, I will say that our government will not be shipping hot air credits overseas. Our focus is on a domestic solution," Ambrose told reporters Wednesday following a one-hour meeting with Alberta Environment Minister Guy Boutilier...

But Ambrose refused to discuss specifics of what will happen to the Kyoto accord or whether the Conservative government will scrap the deal to reduce Canada's emissions.
I won't wade too far into the middle of the emissions credits debate. But based on Ambrose's position so far, as well as her apparent mandate, it doesn't appear entirely out of the question that the Cons could keep Canada within Kyoto while ensuring that all emissions cuts are made domestically. And if the Cons were to follow that route, the political benefits to the Cons could match the environmental benefits to Canadians, as Harper would be seen taking a surprising direction toward David Cameron's "green politics" strategy that's worked so well in the UK.

Not that I ultimately expect the Cons to go that way, as it's tough to see them implementing a tough set of industrial regulations that's likely the only other means of achieving the Kyoto-mandated cuts. But if even the party which wouldn't answer Greenpeace's questionnaire during the campaign is making an effort to meet Canada's Kyoto commitments rather than rejecting the global action off hand, then there may be a strong opportunity for serious environmental progress during the upcoming Parliament.

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