Topic: Canada’s International Reputation and Performance Concerning the Environment
In recent years, Canada had a poor reputation internationally when it came to the environment. We repeatedly won the Colossal Fossil Award at the UN Climate talks, culminating in receiving the Lifetime Unachievement Fossil Award in 2013 after winning the Colossal Fossil award for five years in a row. The Colossal Fossil Award is given to the country doing the most damage to climate talks in a given year. While we didn’t win the Colossal Fossil in 2014, we still finished in third place behind Australia (first) and Russia and Belarus (tied for second). With the election of a new federal government in the fall of 2015, the Canadian delegation enjoyed a warm welcome at the Climate Talks in Paris. In this weeks discussion, lets explore not only Canadas climate policy efforts but all of its environmental policies by considering some or all of the following questions as well as any ideas relevant to this issue that you think of as the week progresses. Questions to consider:
1. Has Canadas climate policy really been any worse than that of the United States or other economies (e.g., China, Russia, the EU, etc.)?
2. Does Canada’s performance at the Paris Summit and beyond point to a significant improvement in our climate policy? What more could we do to improve our performance on climate change?
3. What have the provinces done to reduce greenhouse gas emissions? Does this issue need strong federal leadership or can the provinces succeed on their own?
4. Consider how Canada is performing in other areas of environmental regulation besides climate policy; how do you rate our performance in terms of our policies dealing with issues like toxic waste, regulating air and water pollution, or dealing with municipal solid waste?
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