Tuesday, December 15, 2009

The North and Climate Change

I attended quite an interesting talk the other day at Copenhagen, one with particular relevance to Canada: A discussion on Climate Change and how it is hitting the Arctic. It drew some big names; the foreign ministers of Denmark and Norway, the Premier of Greenland, the Danish minister of the environment, a special UN Envoy, and former US President Al Gore.

While the discussion itself was great and informative, it was also in a way bittersweet. It was great to learn about the efforts that nations like Denmark and Norway are undertaking to tackle climate change and build green economies, but somewhat depressing to see how far Canada is getting left in the dust. The risks of climate change run highest in the North, yet Canada is a laggard, and it is a supreme irony that the Tories, who paint themselves as the party of national security and economic stability, are displaying a huge lack of leadership by putting the future of our economy and national security at risk by not taking on climate change as a serious issue.

The Danish Minister of Foreign Affairs in particular gave a great speech, calling for a "green growth path", focusing on sustainable development of the north, investing in clean energies and cleaner energy extraction, and more use of renewable resources. As someone who considers themselves an eco-capitalist and a supporter of green market liberalism, this made me happy to hear that the Danish government was supporting an agenda, similar to Premier McGuinty in Ontario, that views the environment both as something to be protected, but something that can help create jobs and lasting sustainable growth.

Overall, it was a very informative talk that gave me lots to think about and lots of things I wished the government was doing to help our economy and security. Canada responded to the crisis of the Cold War with the invention of peacekeeping, we must now respond to the crisis o climate change with similar innovation.

1 comment:

Prairie Kid said...

Lets add up the total emissions of Canada, Denmark and Norway. What could that possibly total, 5%? Forget about Al Gore. He rejected Kyoto along with Clinton. Where are India, China, Brazil and the U.S.? They are the ones who are emitting the most junk. What the little countries including Canada do, would be like taking an aspirin for terminal cancer. It might make you feel good but it won't do a thing to fix the problem.