Media are reporting today that federal Environment Minister John Baird will try to administer a fatal blow to the Kyoto Protocol during his visit to the UN climate talks in Cancun that run to the end of this week.
Other happenings in Cancun include a haunting underwater tableau staged by Greenpeace and 350.org to highlight the threats to small island states and coastal areas of climate change and an ad that pokes fun at Alberta Environment Minister Rob Renner, who is Cancun promoting the dirty oil from the tar sands.
Minister Baird arrives at the talks on Tuesday, on the heels of a week in which environmental groups “awarded” Canada four Fossil of the Day awards. Fossils go to countries that do the most to undermine the talks. Canada won two firsts, a second and a third.
Minister Baird is expected to try to undermine commitments to a new, legally binding climate agreement that would build on the current Kyoto Protocol. Canada is the only country that has ratified the protocol and also renounced it. The Harper government has said it will not meet Canada’s reduction obligations.
Greenpeace climate and energy campaigner Virginie Lambert Ferry, in Cancun for the talks said: “The survival and continuation of the Kyoto Protocol — regardless of what Canada seems to think — is critical both to these negotiations and the planet. In Cancun, the Canadian government should be working towards the continuation of the Kyoto Protocol as a way to make real progress on fighting climate change.”
The underwater tableau by the TckTckTck campaign, Silent Evolution, included 400 life-sized statues that live under the sea and young people who dived among the statues. The installation conveys the urgent need for nations at the Cancun talks to commit to significant reductions in the greenhouse gases that are causing climate change.
Alberta Minister Renner was the focal point of a full-page newspaper ad that was part of a “Gracias Por Nada” campaign to highlight the lack of action in Canada and Alberta on climate change.