Thursday, December 03, 2009

Death of Intensity

Quietly and without fanfare Canada's Conservative government accepted the need for absolute targets for greenhouse gas emissions today.

As late as just a few days ago the government was still relying on so called 'intensity targets' to pander to their Western oil money base. Intensity targets are a con job designed to allow emissions to increase steadily with no actual reductions and to give oil companies credit for squeezing as much profit as possible out of every individual barrel of sticky tar sands oil while the number of barrels actually increased and overall emissions continue to sky-rocket.

Today, in their ongoing campaign to outsource all Canadian policy and governance to the American White House the government acknowledged that targets would in fact have to be absolute in the context of a continental cap and trade market.
OTTAWA — The Harper government signalled a change on Thursday in its approach to tackling climate change by focusing on absolute caps on pollution from industry.
Appearing at a parliamentary committee, Environment Minister Jim Prentice said the government's strategy would call for a national cap-and-trade system with "absolute caps" to put a price on carbon, under a harmonized structure with the United States.
"We are talking about a cap-and-trade system, a continental cap-and-trade system that involves absolute emission reductions, not intensity targets," said Prentice in response to a question from Bloc Quebecois MP Bernard Bigras.
Prentice said the government's climate change policies previously had called for "intensity targets" for pollution from industrial facilities that require reductions per unit of production and would allow businesses to meet targets while their emissions were increasing. For example, under an intensity system, an oil company would be required to meet a target per barrel of oil, and could therefore achieve targets by increasing production and reducing the rate of growth of their emissions.
But numerous experts from industry and governments suggested this would not be compatible with a proposed U.S. system based on absolute reductions in greenhouse gas emissions.
Count on further chicanery, as this government continues to pull out all the stops to avoid coming to grips with the most important policy challenge in human history. History will not be kind.

UPDATE: As predicted, Chicanery.

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