A question of trust

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Eric Reguly of the Globe and Mail reports from Copenhagen that Canada is clearly in the proverbial doghouse. And indeed, one gets the feeling it’s Canada’s amateur hour at the talks. Still, the seemingly unanimous chorus of disapproval is odd, considering that our reduction targets are broadly similar to those of the U.S. But the difference is: Canada ratified Kyoto. The Americans didn’t. They took their licks when the Bush administration decided to withdraw U.S. support for the Protocol. Defenders of Canada’s position tend to argue that we must not share the burden alone, or that China should do more. But remember: Countries that ratified the Kyoto Protocol agreed to reduce emissions of six greenhouse gases that contribute to global warming. At the end of the day, Canada’s problem in Copenhagen is one of broken trust, based on its behaviour over the last few years. Both Conservative and Liberal governments have themselves to blame for that.