Jean Charest is getting praise from Arnold Scharzenegger, but it looks like Harper will be a no-show in Copenhagen. The Republican governor of California has just praised Quebec’s announcement about amibitious plans for green house gas reductions.
“Like California, Quebec is not waiting for national and international commitments; they are taking action now to reduce emissions and dependence on fossil fuels,” he’s quoted as saying.
“This is another example of a subnational government leading the way and I look forward to more commitments and partnerships from all levels of government in the fight against global warning as we head into the 2009 climate conference in Copenhagen next month.”
I’m no fan of Jean Charest—or of Republicans either—but moves in this direction are not to be sneezed at. That Quebec plans on focussing on transportation is all to the good too. Despite its great distances, the province’s cities have not-bad records when it comes to encouraging public transportation. But real, permanent green house gas reductions, to say nothing about solutions to problems of continued dependence of petroleum, will only come when our cities become more compact.
Will that happen in Quebec? Maybe.
Will it happen in California? Who knows. This former California girl has her doubts. But at least Scharzenegger is going in the right direction, which Stephen Harper, stuck in Ottawa and beholden to Alberta petroleum interests, is not. More than 50 heads of government have confirmed for Copenhagen, but Steve may be occupied elsewhere, opening another doughtnut plant or something.
Photo: Daylife, taken October 2, 2009 at Governors' Global Climate Summit 2