Canada Bows to Pressure at Bali's 11th Hour

    Environmental Groups Give Deal a Qualified Welcome

    BALI, Indonesia, Dec. 15 /CNW/ - Nations agreed today on a "Bali roadmap"
to launch negotiations for a post-2012 global climate agreement that will be
guided by scientific analysis of the emission cuts needed to avoid dangerous
climate change.
    Key developing countries signalled a willingness to take on new
commitments at the two-week-long UN climate conference. However, Canada worked
with the United States for most of the meeting to oppose crucial elements of
the Bali roadmap. As a result, parts of the deal are too vague to assure a
successful outcome of the next round of UN negotiations, due to be completed
in 2009.
    "The world moved forward in Bali today, but we had the opportunity to do
much more," said Steven Guilbeault, Equiterre. "The good news is that the Bali
deal recognizes that rich nations need to cut their greenhouse gas pollution
by 25 to 40 per cent below 1990 levels by 2020, and nations will negotiate the
next phase of Kyoto on that basis."
    Canada initially opposed this emissions reduction range in the final
negotiating session, but agreed not to block the consensus position when it
found itself virtually isolated.
    "Canada worked against the key elements of this deal for most of the two
weeks in Bali, and was singled out by other countries and high-ranking UN
officials for its obstructive behaviour," said Dale Marshall, David Suzuki
Foundation. "In the end, the government responded to public pressure and
allowed this deal to go through."
    The first phase of the Kyoto Protocol ends in 2012, and today's deal
launches a two-year negotiation process for the post-2012 "Kyoto phase 2". In
addition to setting a range of emission reduction targets for industrialized
countries, the Bali roadmap contains commitments to negotiate actions to
control emissions in developing countries; financial agreements for adaptation
and the transfer of climate-friendly technology; and an agreement to tackle
the problem of deforestation in developing countries.
    "Now is when the real work begins," said Matthew Bramley, Pembina
Institute. "The government's current targets and policies fall far short of
the standard set in Bali. Nothing less than a massive scale-up of federal
efforts on climate change is required for Canada to play a responsible part in
the next two years of negotiations."
    "Canada came to Bali demanding unfair commitments from developing
countries, and was roundly criticized for it," said Emilie Moorhouse, Sierra
Club of Canada. "In the end, the only bridge that Canada built in Bali was one
that led to the U.S."
    "The agreement to develop approaches to reduce deforestation and forest
degradation is a key outcome of this meeting," said Chris Henschel, Canadian
Parks and Wilderness Society. "Protecting carbon stored in forests and other
ecosystems is an important complement to deep cuts in fossil fuel emissions."

For further information:

For further information: Jean-Francois Nolet, Equiterre,
+62-81-338-969139; Dale Marshall, David Suzuki Foundation, (613) 302-9913;
Matthew Bramley, Pembina Institute, +62-81-338-969113; Emilie Moorhouse,
Sierra Club of Canada, +62-81-338-969125; Claire Stockwell, Greenpeace,

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