GOLDSTEIN: Canada’s climate emperors have no clothes

GOLDSTEIN: Canada’s climate emperors have no clothes

Breadcrumb Trail Links Columnists Publishing date: Apr 04, 2022  •  5 days ago  •  3 minute

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With the United Nations issuing yet another report Monday warning global greenhouse gas emissions must peak and begin to decline by 2025 to avert catastrophic warming, it’s time for our climate emperors to admit they have no clothes.

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Canada is the perfect example of why they have no clothes.

During a media conference Monday responding to the latest UN report which says it’s “now or never” to avert catastrophic climate change, Environment Minister Steven Guilbeault described the findings as “sobering,” but then blithely claimed Canada, having missed Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s 2020 target for reducing emissions, is on track to meet his 2030 target.

This nonsense has to stop.

Since 1988, Canada has had nine emission reduction targets — five by Liberal governments, four by Conservative ones — and missed them all by a country mile.

None of them, including Trudeau’s latest to reduce emissions to 40% to 45% below 2005 levels by 2030 and to net-zero by 2050, have any basis in reality, just as the UN’s targets have no basis in reality.

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They are what politicians call “stretch goals” or “aspirational targets,” meaning they know they aren’t going to meet them when announcing them.

But after 34 years of Canadian governments setting and failing to meet emission reduction targets, it’s time to call them what they are.

They are political theatre, a virtue-signalling political fraud.

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In 2007, shortly after the Liberals were defeated by the Stephen Harper Conservatives, Jean Chretien’s top political aide, Eddie Goldenberg, publicly acknowledged that when Chretien signed the Kyoto climate accord in 1998 — and then had his government ratify it in 2002 — the Liberals knew they weren’t ready to hit the targets Chretien had agreed to meet.

That wasn’t surprising given that in 2005, two years before the Liberals lost power, then Liberal environment minister Stephane Dion acknowledged that seven years after Chretien signed on to Kyoto and three years after he ratified it, the Liberals had no plan to achieve it.

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Chretien’s response after the Liberals lost power was that it was his successor Paul Martin’s fault, which Martin denied.

Once the Liberals lost power, they blamed Conservative Prime Minister Stephen Harper for failing to reach Chretien’s Kyoto target, hardly surprising since Harper had previously described Kyoto as a “socialist scheme to suck money out of wealth-producing nations.”

Eventually, Harper pulled Canada out of the Kyoto accord and announced his own emission reduction targets for 2020 and 2030, which Trudeau adopted when he defeated Harper in 2015.

He missed the 2020 target and, undeterred by failure, has now increased the 2030 target.

The difference is that Trudeau has put a price on emissions.

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His government continues to claim 80% of families who pay it in the provinces where it applies; Ontario, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba — the other provinces have their own, federally-approved plans — are better off financially because of carbon tax rebates.

But Yves Giroux, the independent, non-partisan Parliamentary Budget Officer, recently reported that when the full financial impact of the carbon tax is accounted for, 60% of Canadians paying it pay more than they get back in rebates, rising to 80% in Ontario in 2024 and in Alberta in 2028.

What it all means is that Canadian taxpayers are paying a steep price — more than $100 billion so far — to achieve imaginary emission reduction targets, so the government can virtue signal about climate change, when nothing Canada does matters as long as China keeps building new coal plants.

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