Canadian journalist Donna Laframboise. Former National Post & Toronto Star columnist, past vice president of the Canadian Civil Liberties Association. New posts: Mondays & Wednesdays.
Rich countries that try to meet their Paris commitments will spend huge amounts of money replacing cheap, higher-emissions energy sources with expensive, lower-emissions sources. This will harm the poor and do nothing for the climate.
Australia-based MercatorNet has published my commentary on the Paris climate agreement announced two days ago. Here’s how that piece begins:
According to the headlines, the Paris climate summit has produced an “historic” agreement that will “save the world.” But don’t be fooled. Climate negotiations have long been popular with politicians. Balancing budgets and tackling unemployment is hard work. But posing as a saviour of the planet is glamorous. Fly off to exotic locales, chum around with celebrities, and then smile broadly as the media hails your courage and wisdom. What’s not to like?
Back here on planet Earth, the climate game has always been 97 percent symbolism. For a quarter of a century, political leaders have made unrealistic promises about emissions cuts, failed to keep those promises, and then agreed to even more stringent cuts.