Canada Plans for Modest Cuts for Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions

PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad and Tobago, Nov. 30 (UPI) — Canada said it plans to stick to “modest” targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions at the climate-change talks in Copenhagen.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper rejected U.N. calls for his government to aim for deeper and faster cuts in emissions, The (Toronto) Globe and Mail reported. Harper said Canada’s target — a 20 percent reduction in greenhouse gases by 2020 — closely resembles that of the United States.

Harper’s comments came as leaders of British Commonwealth nations representing nearly 2 billion people agreed in Trinidad Sunday to strike a deal in Copenhagen on cutting greenhouse gas emissions.

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon urged Canada Friday to aim for greater reductions and said “many countries, developed and developing countries, have come out with ambitious targets.”

But Harper said he would not seek greater reductions.

“It’s important that whatever targets we set be realistic, achievable and are actually achieved,” Harper told reporters. “We have been through the exercise in the past decade or so of setting targets that are idealistic or blue sky — or set targets that look great on paper but didn’t actually require any effort.

“More modest, achievable targets in the short term will get the planet on the right track.”

Copyright 2009 by United Press International

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