Letter to the Editor: Climate specifics

Re Kerry Refuses To Be Forced Into Early Keystone XL Decision (Jan. 18): You reference President Barack Obama’s commitment to action on climate change as “vague vows.” In fact, in June, 2013, by executive order to avoid gridlock in Congress, Mr. 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 residential, institutional and commercial buildings, more renewable energy projects on federal lands, plans to invest in climate-resilient infrastructure, adaptation planning to prepare for 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 per cent below 2005 levels by 2020 to which Mr. Obama committed the U.S. The difference is that the U.S. 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, Leader, Green Party of Canada
Originally published in the Globe and Mail