With the annual United Nations climate conference under way in Lima, Peru, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon is singling out Canada as a country that “needs to stop stalling on setting climate change goals, and instead become ‘ambitious and visionary,’” CBC reported late last week.
“It’s only natural that Canada as one of the G7 countries should take a leadership role,” Ban told CBC News Chief Correspondent Peter Mansbridge. “There are ways to make a transformative change from a fossil fuel-based economy to a climate-resilient economy by investing wisely in renewable energy choices.”
In the Montreal Gazette Friday, Lima youth delegate Leehi Yona said Canada’s actions at the conference “represent the most shocking shift in Canada’s values” since the Stephen Harper government took power in 2006.
“While we once were leaders in multilateral diplomacy, Canada is currently referred to as a rogue country at the climate change negotiations,” she writes. “Our government is backing out of commitments, blocking binding agreements, and promoting tar sands expansion as if its extraction and burning didn’t have potentially horrific human-rights implications, in addition to environmental ones.”
In September, Climate Action Network Europe and Germanwatch ranked Canada last and Australia second-last among developed nations in their responses to climate change. At the time, InsideClimate News’ John Cushman described the two as an “axis of carbon” that “could become a potent force standing in the way of progress toward a universally binding pact.”