A Zero in Charge of 'Net-Zero'

Tom Finnerty23 Aug, 2023 2 Min Read
China to Canada: ha ha ha.

To follow-up on our post on Canadian environment minister Steven Guilbeault's "laughably impossible" new net-zero plans, here's the Toronto Sun's Brian Lilley on Guilbeault's divided loyalties:

Guilbeault wants China as ally, serves as adviser to Beijing

Justin Trudeau’s environment minister, Steven Guilbeault, is pulling double duty as an official adviser to the Chinese government.... Guilbeault is going to a meeting of the China Council for International Cooperation on Environment and Development. It is described as a think tank but is actually a creation of China’s Ministry of Ecology and Environment.  The ministry, part of the Communist Party of China, selects the leadership as well as “providing guidance for its operations, implementation, and daily management.”

The council is tasked with conducting research and offering proposals to the Chinese government. Guilbeault is also currently listed as Executive Vice Chairperson of the Executive Committee of the CCICED. He sits alongside Ding Xuexiang, who serves as the chair of the CCICED. Xuexiang is also the first vice premier of the People’s Republic of China and stands just behind Xi Jinping in the pecking order of the Communist Party of China.

Yes, minister...

Guilbeault has been talking up his visit, the object of which is to recruit China to be "an ally on climate change." He hasn't addressed his role working for an arm of the Chinese government. In fact, the Trudeau government refused to comment on the Sun's story after it broke. Meanwhile, Canada's army of Trudeaupian apologists in the news media have tended to say (to the extent that they've acknowledged the story at all) that this is what making China an ally looks like.

That is hogwash. The main beneficiary of Guilbeault's serving on this council is China, which gets to use a prominent environmentalist politician to "green wash" its deteriorating international image. They'll likely throw him a bone eventually by signing on to some kind of vague carbon-reduction commitment, which Guilbeault will point to as a great success. Meanwhile China's new coal-fired power plant numbers will continue to dwarf the rest of the world. In fact, as Lilley points out, China's year-on-year carbon emissions increase is greater than Canada's total emissions:

China’s CO2 emissions in 2021 were 54.59 billion tonnes, up from 52.59 billion tonnes in 2020. That means China’s annual increase of 2 billion tonnes is more than all of Canada’s emissions, pegged at 777 million tonnes.

So it would seem that there is a contradiction between Guilbeault's domestic and international projects -- the former is an explicit war on the Canadian resource sector and the latter a tacit cover for China's undermining the Canadian energy industry. Unless, of course, this isn't really about the environment at all. Something to consider.
Tom Finnerty writes from New England and Ontario.


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