Liberal “Project Green” was unsubstantial: C.D. Howe Institute

The Liberals’ plans for reaching Kyoto Protocol targets was doomed to failure, argues a leaked C.D. Howe Institute report.

The unpublished report hammers “Project Green” (otherwise known as “Moving Forward on Climate Change: A Plan for Honouring our Kyoto Commitment”), for being too reliant on voluntary measures, and lacking in tough regulations and tax incentives. The report sarcastically refers to the Liberal paper as “Project Dream”, which has been scrapped by the new Conservative minority government.

It is possible that Harper’s Tories received a copy the leaked report soon after taking office, and used it as an excuse to scrap the Liberals’ plans for reaching Kyoto targets. In theory, there’s nothing wrong with that – however, if the rescinding of “Project Green” is not replaced with a more thorough and aggressive plan for combating greenhouse gas emissions, then surely the Conservatives are ignoring the original intentions of the C.D. Howe Institute for creating this report (that is, calling for a more effective plan for reaching Kyoto targets), and instead using it as conservative propaganda for dismissing the Kyoto Protocol altogether.

In my opinion, the Kyoto Protocol is irrelevant – it is simply a means to an end, that end being a significant reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. Whether the Tories want to change how we attempt to reach Kyoto targets, or even scrap Kyoto outright, makes little difference to me – as long as the Conservatives are committed to substantially lowering greenhouse gas emissions.

I’ll give the Tories the benefit of the doubt. Not sure why – possibly because Mulroney was recently proclaimed the (relatively) greenist PM in history. It’s slightly dubious whether the new neo-cons led by Harper will follow suit, but 32.5 million Canadians will be watching closely.

If Harper’s Tories do intend to seriously tackle climate change, may I suggest borrowing ideas from the Green Party of Canada’s Platform 2006? It’s all in there – challenging (and mandatory) regulations, tax incentives, the whole lot. Help yourselves.