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Kyoto Protocol is a mistake

My name is Bob Mills. I am the Opposition Senior Environment Critic and I felt I must take this opportunity to contact you. You have recently received a letter from Jack Layton, President, FCM, in which your municipal council has been asked to consider passing a resolution to encourage the federal government to ratify the Kyoto Protocol. As you may know, we at the Canadian Alliance believe that the Kyoto Protocol is a serious mistake that would damage the environment and adversely affect our economy, yet do nothing to affect climate change.
Although economic forecasts of Kyoto’s impact vary greatly, it is already clear that the cost of Kyoto would be considerable. Even taking into account the benefits to the conservation and renewable energy sectors, the cost would be well over $1,000 per year for every man, woman and child in Canada. Recent studies indicate that Canadians will have to pay up to 100% more for electricity, 60% more for natural gas and 80% more for gasoline if the accord is implemented. The average Canadian household would face costs of about $30,000 just to refurbish their homes to meet Kyoto’s stringent restrictions.
Economists say that Kyoto could lead to a recession in Canada and, as with every recession, existing environmental programs will be seriously compromised. Efforts to protect our rivers, lakes, soil, air and endangered species would all have to be scaled back as the effects of Kyoto devastate government finances.
For such a sacrifice, we would get very little. With the United States out of the agreement, pollution and greenhouse gas emission would actually rise if Canada follows the treaty. This is because many energy intensive operations would undoubtedly move to the U.S. where a far higher percentage of their electricity is generated at relatively high polluting coal-fired stations than is the case in Canada.
The government dismisses the economic warnings as alarmist and out of date.
Yet the alarmism is clearly coming from the government side which forecasts environmental catastrophe due to human-induced climate change.
But this is not what most climate scientists are telling us. Yes, they say, climate is changing. It is also true that carbon dioxide levels are
increasing primarily due to fossil fuel consumption. And yes, we have seen small increases in the planet’s average temperature over the past century.
However, no one knows whether this is caused by our emission of greenhouse gases.
Instead of Kyoto, we need to do far more to encourage R&D in alternative energy and conservation so as to reduce the real pollution that causes smog, acid rain and other environmental problems. We also need to increase the funding of climate change research programs designed to better understand what really drives our planet’s climate. Imposing last century’s Kyoto Protocol will do nothing to protect our climate and will simply waste scarce funds. We ask you to reject the appeal from Jack Layton, President, FCM, for your council to pass a resolution supporting ratification of the Kyoto
Protocol until you have had the opportunity to see all of the facts.
Bob Mills, MP