Tooker Burns His Passport in Protest

By Tooker Gomberg, Den Haag, Netherlands.

Tooker Gomberg and Kelly Reinhardt burn their passports to protest Canada’s position at the COP 6.

At 12 noon today in Den Haag, the Netherlands, where the UN Climate Change Conference (CoP6) is taking place, Tooker Gomberg and Kelly Reinhardt burned their Canadian passports to protest Canada’s abominable position at the conference.

“Right now we’re ashamed to be Canadians. Canada’s position at this conference has been the most dismal of any country on the planet. Instead of showing some leadership, Canada has embarrassed all Canadians and doomed the Arctic (arctic ice has melted by 40% in recent decades). Axworthy should hop on a plane and go home in shame rather than hold the planet ransom.”

Every day a worldwide coalition of environmental groups, Fossil-of-the-day, gives out awards for the most obstructive country to the climate negotiations. Canada has gotten more awards than any country in the world!

Some of the loathsome positions Canada has taken at this conference include:

+ trying to hijack the CDM and use it as a subsidy for its failed nuclear reactor export program;

+ accounting tricks rather than real action;

+ proposing additional additives to claim carbon credits;

+ wanting to remove references to existing international environment agreements;

+ using sinks so that, rather than making cuts, they could actually increase domestic emissions and still keep their Kyoto commitment;

+ including nuclear energy in CDM projects;

+ opposing limits on hot air.

Tooker and Kelly explain…

From 1 p.m. (EST) onward Tooker Gomberg will appear in a live webcast at (Real Player required; click on the TV screen…)

For background info on Gomberg check out:

Gomberg for Mayor and Greenspiration!

Intercontinental disputes threaten to stall climate talks Environment groups criticize Canada for balking on reducing greenhouse gasses

Alanna Mitchell, Earth Sciences Reporter, Saturday, Nov. 25, 2000

There is high anxiety in The Hague that international talks on climate change are paralyzed and may fail. The core of the problem rests on disagreements between the European Union on one side and Canada and the United States on the other. Canada in particular is being heavily criticized for its refusal to budge on some of the most critical issues. International environmental groups have designated Canada as the most obstructive of the 180 countries at these talks.

The negotiations, considered a do-or-die effort to set rules for implementing the 1997 Kyoto Protocol on reducing greenhouse gas emissions, were to have ended at midnight last night, but they’ve now been extended to later this afternoon. During yesterday’s negotiations, activists chanted slogans and U.S. and Canadian protesters — including Tooker Gomberg, a former Edmonton city councillor and failed Toronto mayoral candidate — burned their passports in opposition to their countries’ bargaining positions.

Even with the extension of the talks, some countries have begun whispering about yet another summit in the spring to nail down a deal. “If we don’t leave this meeting with concrete agreements for all of us to move forward, we’ll have lost another decade in the fight against climate change,” said Robert Hornung, director of the climate-change program at Ottawa’s Pembina Institute for Appropriate Development.

Scientists believe greenhouse gases, and the need to prevent more damage to weather systems, are among the most pressing of the Earth’s problems. Grave effects, including the phenomenon of environmental refugees — those forced to flee from their homelands as they become uninhabitable — are predicted within the lifetime of today’s generation of children.

Mr. Hornung said if the international community fails to act on reducing the virulent concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere for another decade, the world will be fated to try to adapt to climate damage rather than prevent it. The effects of climate damage are already apparent. In Canada’s High Arctic, the Inuit are cataloguing the destruction of the ecosystem, which includes the melting of ice and permafrost.

A recent study of the world’s coral reefs shows that in some regions, a quarter have died as the oceans begin to heat up. As well, a projection from the International Energy Agency, published yesterday, says that world emissions of carbon dioxide are set to rise 60 per cent from 1997 to 2010 despite climate policies introduced in the past three years. The agency called for more decisive action. One of the main three sticking points at the talks involves something called carbon sinks.

They are activities or natural Earth processes that soak up greenhouse gases from the atmosphere and store them. Forests and agricultural lands, for example, are capable of being carbon sinks, although they can also emit greenhouse gases.

A sink is the opposite of a carbon source, or an activity that puts carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, such as burning fossil fuels. Canada and the United States argue carbon absorption from their forests and vast landscapes ought to be counted against the carbon dioxide they send into the air. The European Union disagrees.

It thinks the Canada-U.S. proposal is just a way to elude commitments to reduce emissions. In essence, the EU says the Kyoto Protocol ought to result in less carbon dioxide emitted into the air. Canada and the United States argue that as long as greenhouse gas concentrations fall, or remain stable, emissions can continue as they were.

The issues became even more painful for negotiators when Dutch Environment Minister Jan Pronk tried to break the impasse by issuing a position paper designed as a compromise. The EU called it unacceptable.

“Mr. Pronk’s paper gives us the elements for the final phase of the negotiations but what is proposed does not respect our bottom line, which is to ensure that the environmental integrity and credibility of the Kyoto Protocol is safeguarded,” said EU environment commissioner Margot Wallstroem.

The EU is also pushing for industrialized countries to reduce emissions at home rather than get credit for emissions it prevents in developing countries.