Canadians want leadership on climate change
Minister Baird: Canadians want leadership on climate change, not a ‘can’t do’ attitude
Unrealistic models border on the comical
OTTAWA --- Minister Baird’s dire predictions of the costs of meeting Kyoto targets are not based in reality, CAN-RAC concluded today. By relying on unrealistic assumptions, Baird’s study massively inflates the costs of action on climate change and fails to recognize the environmental benefits of taking action.
“Canadians expect our Environment Minister and Prime Minister to take a leadership role and meet our international obligations, and instead he’s paying for incomplete studies to rationalize insufficient action,” said Matthew Bramley, Pembina Institute. “By rejecting Canada’s Kyoto target, Minister Baird advocates breaking international law. That is not an acceptable position for a Minister to take.”
The Minister’s dire predictions of economic collapse are the result of a contrived study seemingly produced for the express purpose of misleading Canadians. “The consequences that Minister Baird predicted are fantastical and fictional – it’s like watching a Hollywood doomsday movie,” said David Coon, President, CAN-RAC.
"The only thing missing in this study is that all our children will contract smallpox and a can of maple syrup will cost $100. Canadians are not idiots. The government should stop treating them as if they were," said Hugo Séguin, Equiterre.
“The Minister has presented a doom and gloom economic scenario that carries little credibility. His analysis leaves out essential elements, such as economic benefits of meeting our Kyoto targets and the potentially disastrous costs of climate change to our economy,” said Emilie Moorhouse, Sierra Club of Canada. “He also underestimates the potential of Kyoto’s flexible mechanisms, which allow Canada to invest in clean development projects in poorer countries and use those greenhouse gas reductions towards our target.”
The World Bank’s former Chief Economist, Sir Nicholas Stern, found last year that the costs of unchecked climate change would be between five and 20 per cent of global GDP, while the economic cost of addressing climate change is just 1 per cent of global GDP. Stern’s authoritative review of climate change economics concluded that “tackling climate change is the pro-growth strategy; ignoring it will ultimately undermine economic growth.” In Canada, 5-20% of GDP is equivalent to $70-280 billion in economic losses to Canadians.
Last fall, Canada’s former Environment Commissioner called for a “massive scaleup of efforts” to fight climate change. “Business as usual falls far short of a massive scale-up of efforts, and that is what Minister Baird proposed today. He wants us to walk away instead of stepping up to the plate to meet the challenge,” said John Bennett, Climate for Change.
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