canada environment

Fri, 2012-02-10 19:16Guest
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Little Green Lies: Prime Minister Harper and Canada’s Environment

This is a guest post by Dr. David R. Boyd, an adjunct professor at Simon Fraser University and author of The Environmental Rights Revolution: A Global Study of Constitutions, Human Rights, and the Environment. Originally published at iPolitics

Is Stephen Harper the worst prime minister that Canada has ever had, from an environmental perspective? The evidence is mounting that this is indeed the case, despite some early glimmers of hope. Given the deteriorating global environment, this failure of leadership could not have happened at a worse time.

That Canada has become an international laggard in environmental policy and practice is now an incontrovertible fact. In 2009, the Conference Board of Canada ranked Canada 15th out of 17 wealthy industrialized nations on environmental performance. In 2010, researchers at Simon Fraser University ranked Canada 24th out of 25 OECD nations on environmental performance.

Yale and Columbia ranked Canada 37th in their 2012 Environmental Performance Index, far behind green leaders such as Sweden, Norway, and Costa Rica, and trailing major industrial economies including Germany, France, Japan, and Brazil. Worse yet, our performance is deteriorating, as we rank 52nd in terms of progress over the 2000-2010 period. Even Prime Minister Harper has candidly admitted, “Canada’s environmental performance is, by most measures, the worst in the developed world. We’ve got big problems.”

For several years, the Conservatives blamed Canada’s environmental problems on the previous Liberal government, and their own lack of progress on a fractious minority parliament. Now that it has a majority, is the Conservative government attempting to solve environmental problems with stronger laws, higher standards, larger investments, and tougher enforcement?

No.

Sun, 2009-06-07 17:14Mitchell Anderson
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Carbon Capture Won't Solve the Tar Sands - Canada's Environment Minister

it’s official. Canadian Environment Minster Jim Prentice fessed up to what experts have been saying all along: that carbon capture and storage (CSS) is close to useless for mitigating the massive emissions from the Alberta tar sands.

Canadian Prime Minister Harper is no doubt pissed that his potential leadership rival has gone off message on such an important issue of spin.

In an editorial board meeting with Globe and Mail Prentice admitted: “CCS is not the silver bullet in the oil sands.”

Strange. That’s not what his boss said when he committed at least $650 million in taxpayer’s dollars towards this bitumen boondoggle. Harper is a big booster of CSS, stating that:

“This new technology, carbon capture and storage, when fully commercialized … will collect carbon dioxide emissions from oilsands operations and coal-fired electrical plants and seal them deep underground.”

It also obvious that Harper either didn’t read, or care about, the secret memo from his own scientists several months earlier stating exactly the opposite:

“Only a small percentage of emitted CO2 is ‘capturable’ since most emissions aren’t pure enough,” the notes say. “Only limited near-term opportunities exist in the oilsands and they largely relate to upgrader facilities.”

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