In the face of inaction by the federal Conservatives, Canada's provinces and territories wrapped up discussions on climate change policy today during the annual premier's conference being held in Moncton, New Brunswick.
Some moderate actions were agreed to, but no consensus was reached on the two big solutions - matching California vehicle emissions standards and establishing an inter-provincial cap-and-trade system for greenhouse gases. Twelve of thirteen provinces embraced matching the California standards, which call for a 30% reduction in new car emissions by 2016. Only Ontario refused, saying that the province's troubled auto manufacturing industry was in no position to bear the burden. Meanwhile, Ontario did join British Columbia, Quebec and Manitoba in calling for a firm cap-and-trade system that would apply to all industries in the country.
Two questions. First, the provinces endorsing cap-and-trade represent almost 80% of the Canadian population - what's stopping them from establishing a carbon market on their own? Second, where does Ontario plan on selling all of their inefficient vehicles if every other province adopts California's emission standards?
Nobody ever said politicians made sense.