Friday, October 19, 2012

Haida Scandal Appears Uninfluential in Hyderabad

Despite the hoopla of the past few days, reports on controversial OIF experiments conducted under the auspices of the Haida Salmon Restoration Corporation (HSRC) appear to be having little impact on formal proceedings at CBD COP11 in Hyderabad.  News from the conference indicates a deal has been struck between those countries pushing for a tougher line on geoengineering, and others resistant to any further restrictions on research.  A core agreement seems to have been reached between Ethiopia and Australia, according to which opponents of geoengineering have given up their demand for an enforceable test ban, in exchange for a "reaffirmation" of the 2010 moratorium (including, crucially, its non-binding status).  The final text of the decision must still be adopted by the full conference.

The full story remains murky back in Canada.  Federal Minister of the Environment Peter Kent (Conservative) declared, "If this happened, it would be in violation of Canada's Environment Protection Act."  Environment Canada has launched a formal probe into the matter, but refuses further comment.  Elizabeth May, leader of the Green Party, remarked, "The fact that Federal officials may have known about this and let it to happen is disturbing.  Have they allowed a Californian rogue investor to play with fire at the expense of Canada's environment?  I never thought I'd see something like this happen in my country."  Meanwhile, Russ George and HSRC have organized a press conference in Vancouver scheduled for later today.

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