Stephen Harper is at the UN today to attend a meeting of the Security Council. He chose not to attend yesterday's meeting on climate change. As appalling as Harper's decision to skip that meeting was, Tom Walkom writes that, in the end, he probably did the climate a favour. In the past, when Harper has attended such meetings, his strategy was two fold: to obstruct and to delay:
He made an alliance of convenience with Russia, Australia and, at one point, Japan to deep-six any attempt to resurrect Kyoto.
In 2011, Canada became the first country to formally withdraw its ratification of the Kyoto Protocol.For a while, Harper aligned himself with U.S. President Barack Obama. Canada, the prime minister said, would follow Washington’s lead on the climate-change file.
He gleefully supported Obama’s efforts to replace binding international commitments with voluntary ones.
To that end, Harper solemnly agreed, at the 2009 Copenhagen summit, to reduce Canadian greenhouse gas emissions in lock-step with the Americans.
But the prime minister never delivered. The U.S. under Obama is on track to meet its 2020 targets. Canada, by the federal environment department’s own admission, is not.
Two days ago, the Rockefeller Foundation announced that it was moving its assets out of fossil fuels. Stephen Heintz, the president of the Rockefeller Fund, announced that "progress toward complete divestment from fossil fuels is being made slowly but surely." When the family that made its fortune from Standard Oil says that the future is not in fossil fuels, you would think that announcement might give people like Mr. Harper pause.
But he's always been slow on the uptake. That's because he's a fossil fool.