Canada and the other major sources of the world's greenhouse-gas emissions must lead the way toward a new, post-Kyoto climate-change deal or risk economic and environmental disaster, says British Prime Minister Tony Blair's special envoy on global warming.
That man is Elliot Morley who met with Environment Minister John Baird in Ottawa Wednesday. His intention? To get Canada plus 12 other countries to join a group dubbed the "G8 plus 5" in order to craft a climate change plan that would be tabled at this year's G8 meeting in Germany and be finalized at the 2008 meeting in Japan.
Brazil, China, India, Mexico and South Africa would join the G8 nations in building the plan. Together, these countries represent 75 per cent of the world's greenhouse-gas emissions.
During his Canadian visit, Morley was refreshingly blunt in summing up the Conservative government's climate change stance to date.
"I think when the Canadian government was elected, the present one, their intention was to kick the whole climate-change issue into the long grass, basically, and I think they underestimated Canadian public opinion, the strength of the opposition parties."
Meanwhile, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper has been in the news saying he will not follow US President Bush in setting hard targets for reduced oil consumption. he is also calling on CBC's French-language television network to retract a report that links the PM to a planned fivefold increase in oil sands production to fuel US consumption.