Industry groups and politicians like Ralph Klein have been working overtime on a misinformation campaign about the Kyoto Protocol on Climate Change. In a debate of this importance, it is crucial to have the facts. To provide you with well-researched, credible information, Greenpeace has put together our ‘Top 10 Questions About the Kyoto Protocol’. Please read it, keep it and forward it to everyone you know. The Kyoto Protocol is vital for the health and safety of all Canadians. This is a battle we can’t afford to lose.
For more detailed information or to send an email to Jean Chretien to tell him to ratify the Kyoto Protocol, please visit Greenpeace’s Kyoto Information Centre at http://www.greenpeace.org/e/kyoto
And please call or email Greenpeace with any questions you have about the Kyoto Protocol and climate change. We can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 1.800.320.7183
Greenpeace’s Top 10 Questions About the Kyoto Protocol and Climate Change
1. Is climate change really happening? Yes. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) recently completed an assessment of global climate change, involving 2,500 scientists from around the world. They concluded that human activities are changing the climate. The IPCC conclusions have been endorsed by more than 100 Nobel laureates, by 17 national scientific academies and by most of the world’s governments including the United States.
2. Do climate change and air pollution affect the economy? Yes. For example, in 2001 the Canadian Wheat Board estimated that Prairie droughts cost the western Canadian economy approximately $5 billion. According to the Ontario Medical Association, smog caused by the burning of fossil fuels costs Ontario alone $1 billion in health care costs and lost prod uctivity each year. Internationally, the United Nations Environment Fund reports that financial losses resulting from natural disasters appear to be doubling every decade and have reached $1 trillion US in the past 15 years.
3. Will Canadians lose jobs over Kyoto? A recent federal study indicates that under Kyoto, the Canadian economy will grow between 29.3 and 31.4 per cent over the next ten years. The study also tells us that even under the worst case scenario, the Canadian economy will generate millions of new jobs. To read this study, go to: www.climatechange.gc.ca It is also important to note that Canada’s energy workers have come out in support of Kyoto. To read a statement from the Canadian Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union go to: http://www.greenpeace.ca/e/kyoto
4. Ralph Klein keeps saying that Kyoto will cost Canadians jobs. Where is he getting his numbers? Klein is not talking about the jobs people have now, he is talking about a theoretical decrease in job growth. When Klein talks about hundreds of thousands of jobs being lost to Kyoto, he is quoting from a study by Informetrica called “Macroeconomic Impacts of Greenhouse Gas Reduction Options”. The job loss number Klein uses was arrived at based on the hypothesis that Canada would be the only country in the world to ratify and implement the Kyoto Protocol. Since close to 100 countries have already ratified, the hypothesis is false and the numbers generated by this hypothesis are useless.
5. Does Greenpeace think Kyoto will be good for the economy? Yes. A recent Industry Canada study projects that almost $100 billion in activities and investments would be required to meet Kyoto targets. In addition, the Industry Canada report estimates that the clean energy sector is currently generating close to a half billion dollars of revenue in Canada per year and that within a couple of years of ratification the revenues from this sector would jump to $7 billion a year. These numbers tells us that Kyoto will enrich our economy far more than even the worst critics predict it might cost.
6. The US refuses to ratify the Kyoto Protocol. What good will it do if Canada ratifies? When Canada ratifies Kyoto, we will join the majority of the world’s major polluters in agreeing to do something about climate change. Kyoto needs to be ratified by countries responsible for 55 per cent of emissions from industrialized nations before it enters into force. That means that countries producing close to half the planet’s greenhouse gas emissions will have committed to real, time-specific reductions.
7. Why should Canada ratify when industrializing countries don’t have to? For over 200 years, indudstrialized countries have been engaged in polluting practices. Under Kyoto, they will be held to higher emissions reductions requirements. As the international community negotiates further commitment periods, it is expected that industrializing countries will be called upon to adopt formal reduction requirements. At the same time, industrializing countries have taken it upon themselves to make dramatic emissions reductions. Although China was not required to reduce emissions under international conventions, it reduced its emissions by 17 per cent between 1990 and 1997. During the same period Canada – which was under obligation to reduce its emissions under the Rio Convention – increased emissions by approximately 20 per cent between 1990 and 2000.
8. Is there really enough clean power to meet Canada’s energy needs? Yes. The total amount of energy irradiated from the sun to the earth’s surface is enought to provide more than 10,000 times the current annual global energy consumption. Wind power also has incredible potential. In Canada, our wind energy potential alone is greater than the total amount of energy Canada now uses.
9. Whey do we need an international agreement to reduce greenhouse gas emissions? What’s wrong with a made in Canada solution? The problem of climate change requires global targets, but Kyoto allows each country to develop its own method of emissions reduction. Kyoto is not a plan, Kyoto is an objective. It is up to individual countries to come up with their own, custom-tailored national solutions. The beauty of Kyoto it that it requires a national solution.
10. How will climate change affect my life? As concentrations of carbon dioxide and other pollutants build up in the atmosphere, health and wea ther impacts on Canadians are on theincrease. According to the government of Canada, up to 16,000 Canadians die each year as a result of air pollution. According to the World Health Organization, annual heat-related deaths in Montreal andToronto are expected to increase by an average of 10.5 per cent by the year 2020. Internationally, weather disasters including floods, fires and severe storms are on the increase. In Canada, scientists predict flooding on both coasts, extreme heat in some cities, the melting of polar regions and far more frequent drought on the Prairies.
Thank you for reading! Please forward this important information and remember to check out Greenpeace’s Kyoto Information Centre at http://www.greenpeace.ca/e/kyoto