Australia’s Prime Minister Defeated After 4 Terms
Howard's defeat leaves Harper isolated on the international stage as he attempts to push the American agenda on climate change. And he has been an embarrassment at the Commonwealth Conference in Uganda where Canada is isolated over climate change and is seen as being obstructionist. With Howard going down and Australia's new Labour PM; Kevin Rudd proclaiming he will sign Kyoto, Harper is further isolated.
KAMPALA, Uganda–Canada and Australia are trying to block Commonwealth efforts to call for binding climate-change targets, a well-placed Commonwealth official told the Toronto Star yesterday.
"It's Canada and Australia on one side and everybody else on the other," he said. Fifty-two countries are in Kampala to attend the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting and at the end of the three days a declaration on climate change is expected.
Canada will be further isolated come the Bali round of talks on Kyoto 2.
The most dramatic shift in the stalemate is likely to come from Australia in coming days. The country goes into an election with opinion polls consistent in their predictions of a change government, which would see the anti-Kyoto Howard government replaced by the opposition Labor Party under Kevin Rudd.
Rudd says he will “move immediately” to ratify Kyoto and go to the Bali meeting personally, no doubt to stage-manage a high-profile jumping of the fence, switching Australia to the pro-Kyoto camp while in the spotlight of world attention. It would be a largely symbolic move but one that would leave the US more isolated in its opposition to Kyoto and binding emissions cuts than it already is. The Bush administration is unlikely to budge in Bali, but it is becoming less important anyway.
The agreement of Mid-western governors last week to follow states in the US West and North East toward setting emission caps and establish trading schemes now means almost half of the USA, in population terms, is by-passing White House policy and aligning with the Kyoto approach. Bush is only a year or so from leaving office and will almost certainly make way for a successor, Republican or Democrat, that will move on caps and carbon trading nationally. In a year’s time the capping of US carbon emissions will probably be a fait accompli.
Canada may be heading a similar way, with the federal Harper government’s recent rejection of Kyoto commitments being undermined by a number of provinces moving in step with the pro-active US states.
And Canada faces further embarrassment as Harper beaks with tradition, I guess that is the meaning of his governments 'new' Conservativeness , and refuses to allow opposition politicians to attend the conference as part of the Canadian delegation.
Opposition steams at exclusion from global warming summit
Environmental groups pushing to bring opposition mps to talks in Bali
Someone should remind him that he is a Minority PM, and his party does not represent the people of Canada. Harper is embarrassing us on the international stage over Climate Change. It is one thing to claim we missed our targets, it is another to parrot the Republican agenda that says developing countries are just as responsible as developed countries.
And it is completely unacceptable to be an obstructionist when it comes to international goals and treaties, as he is doing in Uganda.
Updated Sat. Nov. 24 2007 10:12 AM ET
CTV.ca News Staff
The Commonwealth's leaders have agreed to an action plan on climate change that doesn't set out binding targets or timelines for reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
The statement released Saturday does call for greater co-operation between developed countries like Canada and developing nations, CTV's David Akin reported from the summit in Uganda.
Canada had opposed language that would set firm, Kyoto-style targets.
Environmentalists and Commonwealth sources claim Canada stood only with Australia in opposing firm targets.
The Conservative government of Prime Minister Stephen Harper has said it would like to see flexible targets with more emphasis placed on improving technology to deal with climate change issues.
Come next November, failing a spring election, Harper will be further isolated as the White House changes hands.
But to Hardheaded Harper Canada's isolation from global consensus is his way of profiling Canada in the international community; as an obstructionist. Unfortunately it is not the profile that Canadians want or need.
Making Maxime Bernier foreign affairs minister didn't add credibility to Stephen Harper's claim that Canada is again taking its global place.
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