With a “coterie of eco-warriors” guiding policy development in the Prime Minister’s Office, Globe and Mail reporter Gary Mason is predicting that Justin Trudeau will deliver on his promise that Canada will do its share to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions.
“There’s not a file on Mr. Trudeau’s desk more important than climate change,” Mason writes. “And a generation of Canadians is relieved that, finally, someone in Ottawa is prepared to do something about the issue. When it came to fossil fuels, Stephen Harper’s philosophy was: Burn, baby, burn. Not so his young successor.”
Mason’s opinion piece has Trudeau addressing the Globe environmental technology conference in Vancouver in March, paying close attention to billionaire philanthropist Bill Gates’ quest for breakthrough clean energy technologies, and preparing to discuss climate change with U.S. President Barack Obama during his state visit to Washington, D.C. March 10.
With a First Ministers’ meeting on the topic set for early March in Vancouver, “if Mr. Trudeau can’t make meaningful moves on the climate file, no one can,” he writes. “At the moment, his popularity is as high as ever. And he will use some of that political capital to usher in the most substantive measures the nation has yet known to combat rising greenhouse gas emissions.”
In an editorial February 4, the same day that it published Mason’s analysis, the Globe points to the challenges for Canada, reflected in the emission trends report published late last month by Environment and Climate Change Canada.
“Tellingly, the newest projections are the highest in years, no doubt a result of the previous government’s laggardly attitude,” the Globe opines. “Under Stephen Harper, Canada became a pariah in the international community—a supposedly enlightened country that refused to take steps to fight climate change.”
Trudeau “came to power with a promise to cut GHG emissions and put a price on carbon,” the paper notes. “He made a show of attending the Paris climate talks in December, where he got a warm welcome. But that was the easy part.” Now, “it’s put-up or shut-up time. Canada must finally meet its targets,” and “the next four years in the fight against climate change will be critical ones.”