Tuesday, June 5, 2018

His Hypocrisy Is Breathtaking

Perhaps he is counting on a fawning international press and a somnolent Canadian public. Perhaps he is counting on those who put partisan loyalties above all else. Or maybe he thinks his dazzling smile will continue to beguile. It may be any or all of these that are leading the Prime Minister to believe that his arrant hypocrisy on climate change will go unnoticed. Whatever it is, one thing is undeniable: Justin Trudeau has absolutely no shame.

As reported by The Globe and Mail (article not available online unless you subscribe or have access to the digital replica through your public library), Canada's leader plans to tell the rest of the G7 at the upcoming summit to step up their game on climate-change mitigation:
The G7 leaders are being urged to accelerate action on climate change, given that current commitments under the Paris accord are insufficient to meet the goal of limiting the increase in average global temperatures to less than 2-degrees Celsius.

However, Mr. Trudeau’s climate leadership credentials are under attack after last week’s pipeline deal, which aims to bolster the fortunes of the emissionsintensive oil sands sector.

Canadian environmentalists argue the Liberal government’s support for the Trans Mountain pipeline and growth in the oil sands is inconsistent with its international commitments on climate change.
Yanick Touchette, a policy adviser with the International Institute for Sustainable Development co-authored a report assessing the level of subsidies given by G7 governments to the fossil fuel industry. Although it was written before before the Trudeau-Morneau acquisition of the Kinder Morgan pipeline, the ugly truth is that the
Canadian government support for the oil and gas industry is the highest in the G7, when measured by size of the economy...
“It’s all the more reason to provide more transparency regarding the overall picture of support to the oil and gas industry … and come up with a plan how Canada plans to meet its commitments to remove inefficient [fossil-fuel] subsidies.”
Not of this is escaping the notice of some very influential forces:
A group of international investors – including some prominent Canadian institutions – are calling on the G7 leaders to increase their efforts – “with utmost urgency” – to reduce carbon emissions and encourage investment in low-carbon energy sources in order to meet Paris targets.
Ceres, an American non-profit that contributed to crafting the statement on behalf of institutional investors, is led by Mindy Lubber:
Ms. Lubber suggested that Mr. Trudeau’s support for the oil sands pipeline is misguided both financially and from an environmental perspective.

...she argued the government-backed pipeline could become a money-losing venture in the long term as the world moves to reduce its use of fossil fuels.

“We are convinced that more money put into the oil sands, in the tens of billions of dollars, are very likely to become stranded assets,” she said in an interview.
All the signs are pointing in a direction opposite to what Mr. Trudeau's braintrust has told him is a viable path forward. Like Icarus flying too close to the sun, this decision, and the one who made it, appear headed for disaster.

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