Conservative MP Michael Chong blasted Environment Minister Steven Guilbeault for sitting on China’s Council for International Cooperation on Environment and Development (CCICED) and attending their annual general meeting in late August.
The CCICED is an advisory council to the Chinese government that meets once a year, consisting of Chinese and international ‘experts’ mandated to collect research and deliver policy recommendations to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).
Minister Guilbeault is listed on the CCICED’s website as the council’s executive vice chairperson, working underneath the People’s Republic of China’s Vice Premier Ding Xuexiang.
MP Chong is calling on Guilbeault to resign his position on the CCICED, pointing to China’s recent history of human rights abuses, attacks on Canadians’ sovereignty and citizens, and their overall indifference to cutting their greenhouse gas emissions despite international pressure to do so.
In a lengthy thread posted to X (formerly Twitter), Chong explained that after a decade of belligerent behaviour from the Chinese government, Guilbeault lending Canada’s good name to China is inexcusable.
“Ten years ago it was reasonable for Western gov’ts to propose cooperation with China on GHG emissions,” says Chong, starting the thread.
“But over the last decade, Beijing’s actions demonstrate it’s not working in good faith. It’s working furiously to increase GHG emissions.”
Chong goes on to point out how China burns more coal than the rest of the world combined, and how the Chinese government had recently granted approval to build more coal-fired power plants.
“China is increasing its coal consumption at a furious pace & plans for even more consumption. China burns more coal than the rest of the world combined. China is the reason why global coal demand rose to an all-time high in 2022 & will likely rise again in 2023,” said Chong.
“In light of these facts & in light of Beijing’s belligerence toward Canada (jailing of the two Michaels, meddling in our democracy, etc), it’s unfathomable why the Trudeau government continues to “cooperate” with Beijing on climate change & lend Canada’s good name.”
The CCICED plays a major part in promoting China’s controversial Belt and Road Initiative, which critics say seeks to establish influence in less developed countries by developing expensive infrastructure projects, saddling them with unsustainable amounts of debt, then taking control of that country’s infrastructure.
The CCICED proudly promotes the Belt and Road initiative on their website, promoting their annual general meeting, touting a “green shift” in the initiative.
Guilbeault defended his planned trip to China in an interview with the National Observer, as he says climate change cannot be solved without cooperation with China.
“Maybe some [political opponents] will try and attack me,” said Guilbeault.
“I am clearly a lightning rod for some of them, but I think Canadians in general will understand how important it is. We can’t solve climate change, you can’t solve the international biodiversity issue, without working with countries like China.”