A startling admission recently by Canada's former Liberal environment minister regarding the Kyoto accord hasn't received anywhere near the attention it deserves.
That was a candid acknowledgment by federal Liberal leadership contender Stephane Dion -- literally the "Mr. Environment" of the federal Liberal party -- that Canada cannot meet the targets to lower greenhouse gas emissions the Liberals committed us to when they signed the Kyoto treaty.
The story appeared on July 1 in the National Post, one reason it largely slipped under the public's radar, since everyone was out celebrating Canada's 139th birthday at the time.
Dion conceded even a future Liberal government with him as prime minister, should he win the Liberal leadership and defeat Stephen Harper, would not succeed in reducing our greenhouse gas emissions below 1990 levels, as the Liberals always insisted was possible, and as was required under Kyoto.
Mr. Dion, that was in July, how do you feel now?
There were questions as to whether or not Mr. Dion had deliberately obfuscated his position on the environment in July. I don't see why these questions should stop, especially because he could be the next Federal Liberal Leader.
The world is now facing a global environmental threat worse than any we have previously seen. Climate change is no academic issue. This is not about some future generation, it is about our children’s lives and our lives. It is about increasingly angry weather and much more dramatic storms - much longer heat waves. It is about the threat of droughts to already over-stretched farmers. It is about coming together as a world to deeply cut the climate pollution that humans are putting into the air.
That is why I believe so strongly that we need to show international leadership on dealing with climate change, and take the necessary actions here at home to do the right thing for us all. That is why as Minister of the Environment, I was proud last December to Chair for two weeks the Montreal conference on climate change negotiations, despite the unfortunate reality that it took place during a difficult federal election campaign. We achieved great things, strengthening Kyoto and how it works as well as kick-starting negotiations to broaden the treaty.