The Maple Leaf – a badge of shame

The Kyoto Agreement is not much, in terms of fighting climate change, but it is virtually all that we have that binds nations to emission reductions. Some nations signed up to the accord and never implemented it. Canada is such a nation. The accord required modest reduction in emissions from a 1990 base. Canada’s emissions have actually risen since Kyoto was signed by them, so Canada is now withdrawing from Kyoto to avoid being fined $13.6 billion. It shows the vacuous nature of the Kyoto accord and Canada’s commitment to fighting climate change.

The Canadian Minister for the Environment is Peter Kent and he says that failing to meet its treaty obligations would cost each Canadian family $1,600. That is a lot of money but without exaggeration it is clear that having a major emitter of greenhouse gases like Canada abandoning any attempt to reduce emissions and instead increasing them will cost many more people on this planet far more, including things that are beyond price.

When I was young Canadians who travelled the world did so with a Maple Leaf flag attached to their back packs, to show that they were Canadians, not Americans and at that time Canada enjoyed the admiration of the world for its comparatively selfless policies on the world stage. The Maple Leaf was a badge of honour; it has become a badge of shame.

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