Kyoto Revisited: Letter to the National Post

By Tooker Gomberg, Toronto, Canada.

Meeting Canada’s Kyoto target will save money, protect the environment, and create jobs, too.

To the Editor:

Readers of the National Post might conclude that if Canada were to ratify the Kyoto Protocol it would spell The-End-of-the-World-As-We-Know-It (Kyoto Will Cost Canada Dearly: Study, Oct. 25). That’s the same tune that the fossil fuel industry is trumpetting: that reducing our greenhouse gas emissions would be awful medicine.

But there is a sweeter and sunnier tune that is supported by a broad range of research. It shows just the opposite: that using energy more efficiently will help to save not only the climate, but money as well. And along with improved energy efficiency would come massive job creation.

Would Canadians like to have more energy-efficient and comfortable homes with smaller energy bills? Of course. It ain’t rocket science to insulate, weatherstrip and change the windows and furnaces, and realize energy savings of 35% or more.

Would the economy prosper from investment in renewable energy sources like solar and wind? Clearly. Last month’s inauguration of a 100 megawatt wind farm in Quebec’s Gaspé region shows that clean, renewable and cost-effective energy is available now. A recent Greenpeace report concluded that wind power could provide 10% of the world’s electricity needs by 2020. Good for the economy, and good for the environment.

A recent poll shows the environment as the biggest concern for Canadians as the new millennium approaches. If government listened to what Canadians want – jobs AND a healthy environment – we would already be well on our way to even exceeding the promises Canada made in Kyoto. Sitting on our hands and bickering doesn’t accomplish anything. It is time for investment in energy efficiency and the renewable energy sources that would bring enormous benefits to Canada’s economy and our environment. Surely that’s not too much to ask for.

Tooker Gomberg
Climate & Energy Campaigner
Greenpeace, Canada