Canada should follow through on promise

When an individual enters into a legal agreement, he or she is expected to implement it.

Dick Leppky’s claims that the Kyoto Protocol was “simply offhand political posturing by former PM Jean Chrétien,” and that the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is a “special-interest group” (letter Feb. 3) are outrageous and deserve a reply.

The Kyoto Protocol is an international agreement linked to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. It sets binding targets for 37 industrialized countries and the European community for reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by an average of five per cent below 1990 levels during the period 2008-2012.

The major difference between the protocol and the convention is that while the convention encouraged industrialized countries to stabilize emissions, the protocol commits them to do so.

The  Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change is the leading international body for the assessment of climate change. It was established by the United Nations Environment Programme and the World Meteorological Organization to provide the world with a clear scientific view of the current state of knowledge about climate change and its potential impacts.

It reviews and assesses the most recent global research results regarding climate change, but does not conduct research.

The IPCC is comprised of thousands of scientists from all over the world who contribute to its work on a voluntary basis. The IPCC is also an intergovernmental body with 195 member countries. Hardly a ‘special interest group’.

In ratifying the Kyoto Protocol, Canada made a legal commitment to reduce its GHG emissions by five per cent below 1990 levels by 2012.

When an individual enters into a legal agreement, he or she is expected to implement it. Should we expect any less of the Canadian government?

 

Anne Morris

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