It?s not what you say. It?s what you do. That is what we teach our children and it applies to everyone ? including governments.
No matter how many agreements and protocols a government signs, it is the policies implemented and the results achieved that will be judged by its citizens.
Remember that the next time you hear Canada?s opposition parties whine about the failure of the Kyoto Protocol, and as they urge our Conservative Government to put ink to paper on more ?agreements? and ?communiqués?. While international agreements on any issue are well-intended and can be effective (IF they are realistic and include all parties), they do NOT indicate actual results.
For instance, the Kyoto agreement to reduce greenhouse gas emissions was signed with great fanfare by the former Liberal Government. Alas, it did not include the world?s major polluters. And what did it achieve here at home? The Liberals allowed greenhouse gas emissions to rise an astonishing 33 percent above their own committed Kyoto targets.
Canadians expect and deserve more than just empty talk and signing ceremonies from their government. During the recent Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting in Uganda and at the United Nation?s climate change conference in Bali this week, our Conservative Government took a strong leadership role in calling for a truly global agreement that compels ALL of the world?s major emitters to do their part to overcome the challenge of climate change.
Contrary to the misinformation that the opposition parties have been spreading, Prime Minister Stephen Harper has been receiving accolades both here at home and around the world when it comes to climate change.
Our Government has taken a tough, firm stand in recognizing that without action from the world?s largest emitters, any global agreement on climate change is meaningless. Turning a blind eye to major developing-world emitters for example, might make for good politics, but it does NOT reduce global emissions.
We also know that leadership starts at home. That?s why the Conservative Government is implementing a plan to reduce Canada?s greenhouse gas emissions by 20 percent by 2020!
This includes MANDATORY emissions targets on industry (for the first time in history); increased fuel efficiency standards on cars and light trucks, and improved energy efficiency standards for products ranging from commercial appliances to light bulbs.
We have invested over $1.5-BILLION to the provinces for action on green technology; $230-million for the ecoEnergy technology initiative; $150-million for Arctic climate research; and $15-million for the Canada School of Sustainable Energy.
We invested $93-million in Budget 2007 towards clean water and we are cleaning up our rivers, lakes and streams with tough new regulations for sewage. We have invested $375-million in conservation programs, such as the Nahanni National Park and the Great Bear Rainforest. We are also getting tough on those who poach, plunder and pollute with 100 more enforcement officers on the ground.
This is an historic hard-hitting strategy that includes investment as well as enforcement. The time for empty government rhetoric on the Environment ended when Canadians elected a Conservative Government nearly two years ago.