In referring to US President Barack Obama’s commitment to action on climate change, your story described Mr. Obama’s plan as “vague vows.” In fact, in June 2013, by Executive Order to avoid gridlock in the Congress, President Obama announced a very specific plan.
The list of measures is impressive: new standards for trucks and heavy-duty vehicles, investments in energy efficiency for both residential as well as institutional and commercial buildings, more renewable energy projects on federal lands, plans to invest in climate resilient infrastructure, adaptation planning to prepare for the extreme weather events we can no longer avoid, and most importantly, a commitment to regulate carbon from coal fired power plants.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper weakened Canada’s greenhouse gas target to the same 17% below 2005 levels by 2020 to which Obama committed the US. The difference is that the US has a plan and is on track to meet that target. Canada, with a patchwork of some strong provincial actions and nothing federally to regulate the oil sands, has no plan and is nowhere near on track for anything but failure.
Elizabeth May, O.C.
Member of Parliament
Green Party of Canada
Published in the Globe and Mail.