Remember the United Nations’ Kyoto Protocol? It landed in 1997 — amid alarming forecasts of rampant eco-disasters, rising sea levels, desertification, hell on earth — with commitments from leading nations to control their carbon emissions. And it crashed in 2012 — expired, they said.
Canada embraced Kyoto Protocol targets, deemed essential to help save the planet from environmental crises. During the first commitment period ending in 2012, Canada had signed on to carbon-emissions reductions of six-per-cent below 1990 levels. In 2012, Canada reported an emissions increase of 18-per-cent above 1990 levels. Canada got out of Kyoto in 2011.
Now let us remember the United Nations’ Paris agreement. It landed in 2015 — amid similar warnings of rampant environmental crises that surrounded Kyoto — with leading nations, including Canada, committed to tough emissions targets. On Thursday, the Paris agreement crashed as U.S. President Donald Trump, in his best policy speech so far as president, announced: “We are getting out.”
Canada embraced the Paris agreement in 2015, committing to a new carbon-emissions target of 30-per-cent below 2005 by 2030. The targets will not be met under current policies. Should Canada now join the United States by withdrawing from Paris — as it did from Kyoto — with a view to renegotiating a new global climate protocol?
Nobody in Canada will want to entertain such drastic action today. It would mean facing the wrath of the environmental organizations that now dominate the agenda-setting media reportage on climate issues. But it is clear that Trump has pulled the economic plug on an international climate agreement that has been a shambles from Day One and now has no basis for continued existence.