Ambrose in Kenya to defend climate change policy

Environment Minister Rona Ambrose arrives in Kenya on Monday for an international conference where she is expected to defend Canada's environmental policy.

Environment Minister Rona Ambrose arrivesin Kenya on Monday for aninternationalconference whereshe is expected to defend Canada's position on climate change.

Ambrose is scheduled to speak on Wednesday at the 165-country United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in Nairobi.

The conference's goalis to set world standards for greenhouse gas emissions starting in 2012, after whichstandards set by theKyoto Protocol expire.
Environment Minister Rona Ambrose speaks to reporters on Tuesday at the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Nairobi, Kenya. ((Karel Prinsloo/Canadian Press))

Ambrose has said the Harper government plans to meet some of its obligations under Kyoto, and that the meeting in Kenya will be worthwhile.

She has also said she plans to bring to the conference a copy of Canada's proposed clean-air legislation introduced in October. It commits Ottawa to cutting greenhouse gas emissions between 45 and 65 per cent from 2003 levels by 2050.

"Climate change is truly a global issue and genuine progress is dependent on all major emitting countries playing a role in finding a solution," Ambrose said last week.

"All nations need to work together, identifying common challenges and sharing ideas. But, as we all know, our individual circumstances are unique and finding shared solutions can be complex."

Representatives of Canada's opposition parties are also expectedto attend the Kenya conference,and totell delegates that not all Canadians agree with the proposed legislation.

Under Kyoto, Canada agreed to reduce emissions to six per cent below 1990 levels between 2008 and 2012, but emissions rose under the previous Liberal government.

Canada has indicated itwon't able to meet its targets under Kyoto, and environmentalists and other critics have criticized the proposed act for being weak.

CBC's David McGuffin, in a report from Nairobi, said Ambrose is not expected to receive a warm welcome.

"Talking to the Europeans here, they are very upset," McGuffin said."They had seen Canada as a key partner as far these climate change talks go. With the apparent step back by the Harper government in Canada now, they feel like they have lost a key partner. They are confused and disappointed."

McGuffin said the European delegates hope they can put pressure on Ambrose to changethe government's positionon climate change.

UN Secretary General Kofi Annan was alsoexpected Monday in Kenya. The conference is the second meeting of theKyoto partners,and the first UN climate summit in sub-Saharan Africa.

With files from the Canadian Press