This is a blog by Dave Martin, Climate and Energy Coordinator of Greenpeace Canada. Dave is a delegate to the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen, Denmark, which takes place from December 7 to 18, 2009. Stay tuned to this blog for commentary, analysis, and inside intelligence on this epochal international environment conference.

Canada received its seventh Fossil of the Day award today (more than any other country). The “award” was presented by the Climate Action Network-International, representing over 400 leading environmental groups from around the world. The tongue-in-cheek “award” is given to countries blocking progress in the negotiations.

Canadian Youth Delegation protests at Jim Prentices press briefing in Copenhagen
Canadian Youth Delegation protests at Jim Prentice's press briefing in Copenhagen

A leaked cabinet document yesterday showed that the Harper government has been secretly planning to dramatically weaken its climate change targets by a factor of three. In the meantime, Jim Prentice has come to Copenhagen with a hidden agenda, not only to weaken Canada’s already weak climate “plan”, but to sabotage the international negotiations

Prentice should resign, and Prime Minister Harper should apologize to the world, if he has the temerity to show his face this week in Copenhagen Canadian Sabotage in the Backroom

As Copenhagen negotiations approach the end game and go into backroom negotiations between Ministers of the Environment and Heads of State, Canada has again disgraced itself on the international stage.

Canada is actively sabotaging the Copenhagen climate negotiations and blocking progress on carbon emission reductions by industrialized nations. The talks in Copenhagen reveal the extent to which the tar sands industry controls the climate change policy of the Harper government.

New information shows that in closed-door sessions in Copenhagen, Canada is blocking negotiations to reduce carbon emissions from industrialised nations.

Negotiating text from Friday December 11 proposed that industrialized countries reduce emissions by 30 to 45 per cent below 1990 levels by 2020. Canada is undermining this ambitious target by proposing that industrialised countries should adopt whatever targets they want.

Leaked cabinet documents have revealed that the Harper government is secretly proposing to drastically weaken its original emission reduction target by a factor of three. This makes their so-called climate change plan utterly meaningless.

By way of background, Canada is supporting a “bottom up” approach to target setting which would allow industrial countries to set their own targets individually, rather than the “top down” approach which would set a science-based aggregate target, and negotiate the respective country targets needed to achieve it.

A December 12th version of the Kyoto Protocol negotiating text contained a surprisingly ambitious industrial country reduction target of 30 to 45 per cent below 1990 levels by 2018 or 2020. Canada, supported the watering down of this target by also inserting a completely undefined target, as well as an undefined base year (an “X” emissions target, and an “X” base year).