Canada has achieved major greenhouse gas reductions in recent years (see article). This is due almost entirely to reductions in Ontario’s power generating sector, where emissions were 15 million tonnes lower in 2006 than in 2003.
It’s depressing that nobody knows about this. Professional environmental advocates pretend the reductions didn’t take place, for two reasons. First, they are partisan to a fault, and their partisan leanings are definitely not toward the federal Conservatives. So they don’t want to give any credit to a party they don’t like. Second, they don’t like the cause of the emission reductions: nuclear power.
Hence, they never mention Ontario’s stunning reversal. Nor, for the most part, do their media interlocutors. Instead, they trot out phony scorecards like the one today from the World Wildlife Federation, which puts Canada in second-last place among greenhouse gas emitters (right behind the U.S.).
Ontario’s 15 million tonne emission reduction—by far the biggest since Canada signed Kyoto in 1997—has gotten almost no media play. Nor has anyone talked about Stephen Harper’s support for Quebec’s 700 megawatt Rupert River hydro expansion. The latter, announced last winter in the midst of the furor over the Conservative environment plan, will see Quebec wheeling massive new amounts of hydro-generated power down into New England, where it will displace coal-fired power and, possibly, earn a premium under the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI).
The Ontario and Quebec electricity stories were major developments on the environment file. Both have everything to do with climate change. Nobody noticed.
This reflects a general ignorance on energy and environment, especially among the professional commentators on energy and environment issues. This is just plain inexcusable. These are the same people who lambaste the prime minister over his stance on Kyoto. The same ones who insist that Canada reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions but pretend Ontario hasn’t done exactly that in a huge way.
It’s time to knock these guys off the puck.
[…] It may also mean that most people know the difference between paying lip service to the treaty and actually reducing emissions. Harper didn’t say he wouldn’t cut emissions. So as long as he makes gestures toward reducing them—as he did in winter 2007, when he pledged financial support for Hydro Quebec’s 700 megawatt Rupert River generation project—that’s good enough. (Nobody in the media or environmental lobby connected the Rupert project with climate change policies, by the way. This in itself is an interesting commentary on Kyoto as a public issue; see article.) […]