Europe – tell China to cut their GHGs ok?

Yesterday the Globe and Mail reported that Stephen Harper will be meeting with European leaders both in large meetings and privately to convince them to pressure China and India to “level the playing field” of development and climate change.

1. Doesn’t understand the bredth of policy development going on in China right now – is this reflecting on the work of the Canadian embassy in China?  Why can’t he be better informed…unless he’s doing this solely for political reasons.

2.  China and Canada actually have a lot in common, especially dirty energy (especially in Alberta).  China does use a higher proportion of coal to power its electricity economy but…

Anyway, both are interested in Carbon Capture and Storage technology.  Alberta has a long-term plan to develop this – at the same time, Alberta has a huge labour shortage.  China also has long-term interests in developing CCS.  Working together would certainly benefit both parties in so many different ways.  So, why doesn’t Canada invite Chinese companies to come to Alberta, with Chinese labourers, to build massive tracts of the Albertan CCS system?

There are certain benefits and drawbacks to this:

1. Political image in Canada: Chinese are taking our jobs – there is already a huge job shortage.  Chinese workers would be coming to fill surplus demand (how to allow people to see this).

2. Chinese stealing technology:  China has been “promised” capital and technology transfer in the Kyoto process to help them leapfrog old, dirty technologies.  What better way to fulfill that promise, and in the meantime, allow China experience in building technology that could eventually directly reduce their GHG emissions?

3.  Speed of implementation in Alberta:  If Alberta were to use Chinese labour to do this work, it would be done faster and cheaper.  There’s no question about that.  And the quality would be as good.  I know there are lots of political issues surrounding this.  But if our interest is actually in reducing GHG emissions, why would we so vehmently discount this possibility?

Well, it’s just an idea for now.  And what’s wrong with an idea? 🙂

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