Canada

Ambrose undermined Kyoto, Liberals claim

Federal Environment Minister Rona Ambrose undermined the Kyoto Protocol at a policy meeting in German, the Liberals said Saturday.

Federal Environment Minister Rona Ambrose has deliberately undermined the Kyoto protocol during a world conference on global warming, the Liberals said Saturday.

And that means Ambrose should recall Canada's delegation from the Conference of the Parties in the German city of Bonn, and she should resign as meeting chair, they say.

Liberal environment critic Scott Brison demanded Ambrose's resignation Saturday because of what he calls "her covert attempts to sabotage the development of a binding international consensus on global warming."

"This is not only outrageous, it is dangerously duplicitous," Brison said. "Ms. Ambrose's actions risk irreparably damaging Canada's reputation at the United Nations and will compromise any progress at the Conference of the Parties."

Brison claimed that Ambrose wants a new Kyoto agreement that allows for "different types of commitments based on national circumstances."

Kyoto is a controversial agreement between many of the world's nations that calls for a steady reduction in greenhouse gases over the next few years. It was passed by the former federal government over the objections of the Tories, who said the targets were impracticable, if not impossible.

Brison noted that Canada will miss its second deadline this week to put forward a Kyoto plan. And he compared Ambrose's position to that of U.S. President George W. Bush, a noted critic of the Kyoto agreement.

"From gutting federal climate-change programs, to repeating defeatist and absurd rhetoric fashioned by American pollsters, to misrepresenting the protocol itself, this government is applying Bush's well-worn anti-Kyoto tactics," said Brison.

"And now, by extending these tactics in an effort to derail the process from within, Ms. Ambrose even appears to be pushing the U.S. agenda at Bonn."

The Tories scoffed Saturday at the criticisms, saying the federal government was, in fact, fully committed to the environment.

Ryan Sparrow, a spokesman for Ambrose, suggested that the Liberals were somewhat hypocritical because greenhouse-gas emissions rose 35 per cent over Canada's Kyoto target during their tenure.

"Under our new government, Canada will be a leader on the global dialogue on greenhouse-gas emissions," Sparrow said. "We will also work to develop a made-in-Canada plan to clean up our environment at home."

Foreign Affairs Minister Peter MacKay also insisted that Ottawa is committed to addressing greenhouse-gas emissions.

"This isn't about abandoning Kyoto," he said."This is about reducing greenhouse gas emissions and doing what the Liberals failed to do.

"Putting words and signatures on a piece of paper mean nothing if you're not going about doing the actual work to reduce greenhouse gas. Rona Ambrose and her department are doing just that."