Inside Politics

How's the climate in Copenhagen in December?

A spokesman for the prime minister says that Stephen Harper now may go to the international climate change convention in Copenhagen.
 
U.S. President Barack Obama has just announced he'll attend the crucial meeting on Dec. 9. The meeting runs from Dec. 7 to 18.
 
Now PMO spokesman Dmitri Soudas says Harper could go, too, IF "all major leaders attend and there is a leaders summit."
 
That leaders summit would have to include the major developed countries, as well as the huge emerging economies of countries like India and China, Soudas said.
 
Harper recently said something similiar at the APEC meeting in Singapore.
 
But Obama's presence may put a bit more pressure on him to attend.
 
When asked when will that be established for sure -- when will the IF be answered -- Soudas wouldn't say.
 
However, he added whether the prime minister goes or not, "we welcome a climate change agreement in Copenhagen, as long as it's not detrimental to the economy."
 
The Obama administration also just a released its targets to cut greenhouse gas emissions: 17 per cent below 2005 levels by 2020.
 
Soudas says that's good news for Canada.

"We are really pleased the U.S. has released its targets, which are very close to ours -- 20 per cent below 2006 by 2020."
 
But environmental groups point out if you crunch the numbers, the U.S. targets are a lot more aggressive than Canada's.
 
They say if you add up the reductions from the proposed U.S. cap and trade system, plus the $26 billion the administration has pledged for renewable energy and its efforts to stop deforestation internationally, the U.S. cuts are closer to 28 to 33 per cent below 2005 levels.


VIDEO UPDATE:  Environment Minister Jim Prentice was scrummed on these latest developments on the upcoming Copenhagen talks, as well as his meeting today with provincial environment ministers, after the morning caucus meetings on Parliament Hill. You can watch the unedited video of the scrum here.
 

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