Prime Minister Stephen Harper said he would respect the passage of a bill that requires the government to meet its commitments to Kyoto, but suggested that there's nothing in the legislation for him to act on.
"Of course, if and when that becomes law, the government would respect it," Harper said in the House of Commons during question period Thursday.
"I'll just point out that the bill has no plan of action in it; the bill gives the government no authority to spend any money to actually have a plan of action."
Strategically speaking, the Conservative Party cannot campaign on an anti-Kyoto platform. It won't work - simply put, there aren't enough votes out there to win an anti-Kyoto election. The Clean Air Act was a bust in the public's eye, so any attempt at a New and Improved Made in Canada Clean Air Act will fail too.
If the Conservatives approach the Green Party or the NDP to develop a Kyoto plan, they will win the next election - it will be implied that their previous attempt failed to deliver strong enough measures and they have now realized they should approach one of the parties reputed to be strong on environmental issues (one that they don't normally compete with on votes) to come up with an effective plan.
By doing this, the Conservatives will get the rub on the environment without attempting to look like they are simply "greening" their image.
The Liberals will claim that the Conservatives have "flip-flopped" - but that's okay. It's not bad politics to flip to the right position. No one has ever lost an election because they implemented policy desired by the people.
Implementing the will of Parliament and a strong Kyoto plan would do more damage to the election hopes of the Liberal Party than playing witty commercials attacking the Liberal Party record.
Update: Yes, I know the right answer is he shouldn't implement Kyoto for strategic purposes; he should do it for a deep belief in the fact that Canada can control its greenhouse gas emissions and make a meaningful contribution to the world's effort.
Take it any way you can get it, I say.