Canadas negative reputation at climate change meeting embarrasses village resident
BIBLE HILL - Corinna Taylor did not let Canada's embarrassing reputation dissuade her from enjoying a recent climate change conference in Denmark.
The Bible Hill resident, 23, returned late last week from Denmark where she attended
a 11-day climate change conference in Copenhagen.
One of the most troubling things she learned from the conference was just how poorly Canada is thought of when it comes to bettering the environment through climate change.
"I was surprised the rest of the world thinks about tar sands when they think about Canada. (Delegates) had a very negative outlook on Canada," Taylor told the Truro Daily News. "They said Canada was holding back the process ... it was embarrassing."
Some of the reasons for that mindset, said Taylor, included not only the association between Canada and the tar sands but the country falling far behind the Kyoto Protocol.
The initiative was adopted in 1997 in Kyoto, Japan. It states 37 industrialized countries must reduce their emissions by more than five per cent below the 1990 levels by 2012. By contrast, Canada's greenhouse gas emissions have increased by 30 per cent.
Taylor said the fact that Prime Minister Stephen Harper did not attend the conference until U.S. President Barack Obama did also hurt Canada's reputation.
"I tried to correct people and tell them we are trying to address climate change," said Taylor.
She attended about 25 meetings and events during the conference, including taking a boat ride on the ocean to see wind farms close up.
"That was amazing," she said.
She also learned how poverty-stricken parts of the world have affected climate change issues.
For example, poverty in Africa relates because people there often cut down trees
for heat. It adds to the deforestation of the area and "the more trees they cut down the less natural (carbon) absorption there is," said Taylor.
When Taylor asked what Canada can do to make better strides, she was told by other delegates that alternative fuels should be widely implemented.
"I was told Canada should have ample land to use biofuels," she said.
One thing Taylor avoided during the trip was protesting. One particular protest included thousands of people and hundreds were arrested.
"Overall, the protests were peaceful ... but there were some that had gas bombs. I wasn't scared because I wasn't in that (area) and there was tight security."
In the end, Taylor said, conference-goers agreed climate change continues to be problematic worldwide. Next year's conference will be in Mexico.
In the meantime, Taylor will share details of her trip in her home community, including presentations to the Nova Scotia Agricultural College and the Truro Rotary Club.