Without any binding targets, timelines or deadlines, how is this a treaty? It’s not a treaty, it’s more of a “if you wouldn’t mind, if it’s not too much trouble and don’t worry if you can’t”, kind of an agreement.
The Trudeau government, according to the CBC, intends to have Parliament ratify the Paris climate “treaty” this week.
Since the Liberals have a majority government, its passage is guaranteed, even though Prime Minister Justin Trudeau could ratify the agreement without Parliament’s consent.
The real issue is that this so-called treaty isn’t actually a treaty.
It doesn’t contain any binding targets, timelines or deadlines for countries to reduce their industrial greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions linked to climate change, or penalties if they fail to do so.
While it requires ratifying nations to report their GHG reduction targets to the United Nations, and their progress in meeting them, there are no penalties if they don’t.
The Paris deal has no binding targets largely because of U.S. President Barack Obama, who knew he couldn’t get such a treaty through the U.S. Senate.
Indeed, in Obama-speak, the Paris climate deal isn’t a treaty, but an “executive agreement”, which he argues he doesn’t need to submit to the U.S. Senate for approval.
Since China, the world’s largest GHG emitter, has never accepted binding emission targets, it was happy to agree, along with the U.S., which is the world’s second largest emitter, to non-binding ones.
In other words, when our Parliament ratifies the Paris climate deal it will be another Liberal dog-and-pony show. All form, no substance.
Even if every nation on Earth was to achieve the voluntary GHG targets they’ve submitted to the UN, climate scientists say it would still cause global warming to soar past the safe upper limit of a 1.5C to 2C global temperature increase by the end of the century.
Trudeau’s promised emission cuts for Canada are the same ones former prime minister Stephen Harper pledged, which the Liberals have now adopted as their own, even though they used to mock Harper as a climate denier.
Trudeau won’t meet these targets — although he will help the provinces take billions of dollars more out of the pockets of ordinary Canadians through carbon pricing.
How do we know? Because every federal Liberal and Conservative government for the past three decades has failed to meet its promised GHG reduction targets.
But why let the facts get in the way of a good show?