Why Canadian Conservatives Made Concessions on Climate Change Policy

External and domestic pressures pushed the ruling Conservatives to change their climate change management policy.The Canadian government has indicated that it will now harmonize itspolicy with the US by supporting absolute emissions caps, acap-and-trade system and if need be regulation.

Canadianopposition parties worked together to adopt a motion calling on thegovernment to support science-based targets at COP15. Although theConservative’s opposed the motion, it passed in the CanadianParliament. The motion also asks industrialized countries to adopt atarget to reduce their emissions by 25 per cent below 1990 levels aswell as provide support for developing countries efforts to reducegreenhouse gas emissions.

Ledby the provinces of Ontario, Quebec and Manitoba, the provinces urgedOttawa to accept more ambitious cuts to Canada’s greenhouse gasemissions at COP15.

Quebec said it would meet a 2020 target of20 per cent below 1990 levels, similar to that of European Unioncountries. Ontario plans a 15 per cent cut below 1990 levels in thesame time frame and British Columbia plans to reach 33 per cent below2007 levels in the next decade.

High Canadian emissions couldalso result in tariffs from the US and Quebec has warned that Europeand other countries are considering putting environmental barriers intonational trade legislation.

The Conservatives are not championsof the environment, however, they realize that resistance to a climatechange deal is politically and economically untenable

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