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Canada’s Approach to
Tackling Climate Change
John M R Stone
Carleton University
Ottawa, Canada
The Challenge
Canada’s Kyoto target is a 6% reduction in 1990 emissions
(roughly 590 Mt CO2 eq.) by 2008-12.
The difference between Canada’s business-as-usual
projections of emissions and its Kyoto target is now estimated
to be at least 270 Mt CO2 eq. - some 45% above Kyoto
Overall energy efficiency has improved by 13% since 1990.
Emissions have increased mainly because of larger than
expected growth in the economy and in fossil fuel productions
(particularly oil sands).
Much greater efforts clearly required.
MT CO2 - equivalent
Business-as-Usual Scenario
270 Mt
Kyoto target
six percent below 1990 level
Some History
Canada has ratified the UN/FCCC and the Kyoto Protocol
(one of the last acts of PM Jean Chretian).
Since 1998 the government has made incremental
investments in climate change totaling some $Cdn 3.7 billion
(a little less than half has been spent).
There have been several audits of these investments by
Treasury Board, Auditor General of Canada and others (the
results have been disappointing).
The government is undertaking a full review of existing
Canadians have become cynical about climate change (a wait
and see approach).
Project Green
A Plan for Honouring Canada’s Kyoto Commitment
Announced in the federal government budget in 2005.
Recognizes the need for a long-term approach to the threat of
climate change:
transform the Canadian society and economy,
maintain technological and economic growth,
achieve sustainability.
The Climate Fund
The Partnership Fund
Renewable Energy
Continuation of some existing Programs
Estimates of program potential are optimistic.
Large Final Emitters
Oil, gas, electricity generation, mining and manufacturing account for roughly
50% of Canadian emissions.
Previous approach using covenants back-stopped by legislation proved to be
Cost to industry will be capped at $Cdn15 per tonne CO2 (honouring previous
New system will cover some 700 companies and is to achieve 45 Mt CO2
Emission intensity approach: fixed process emissions receive a zero percent
target; al other emissions are to be reduced by 15% maximum.
In-house reductions, purchases from other companies, domestic off-sets,
international “green” credits and
Notice to use Canadian Environmental Protection Act has been gazetted
technology investments (for expected post-2012 emission reductions) limited to 9Mt
Greenhouse Gas Technology Investment Fund.
GHG’s to be added to list of controlled substances
Act created primarily to control “toxic” substances (communications issue).
Further consultations underway; unlikely to be in place by COP-11.
The Climate Fund
Purpose: To create a permanent institution for the purchase of emission
reduction and removal credits on behalf of the government of Canada.
Minister of Environment will have authority to recognize eligible projects
that go beyond BAU practices:
agricultural soil carbon enhancement;
improved forest management practices
more energy efficient urban and property development;
LFE’s that have surplus credits;……..
Government will purchase credits in a competitive process and retire
them (credits can also be sold elsewhere).
Fund will invest in advance purchase of emission reductions from large
strategic projects (where costs are expected to decline over time).
Fund will invest in internationally recognized “green” projects (through
the CDM for example) – no “hot air” and majority of reductions in
Fund will have minimum of $Cdn 1 billion over five years and is
expected to yield 75-115 Mt CO2 annually.
CEO now appointed.
Partnership Fund
Partnerships with Provinces and Territories as well as with
private sector.
Projects that are important to both orders of government:
clean coal;
carbon dioxide capture and storage;
electricity infrastructure;
Inter-modal transport;………
Initially, $Cdn 250 million over five years and expected to
yield some 55-85 MT CO2 annually.
Renewable Energy
Wind Power Production Incentive:
Renewable Power Production Incentive:
budget quadrupled to $Cdn20 million over 5 years;
target of additional 4000 MW
investment of $Cdn 97 million over 5 years;
target of additional 150 MW;
small hydro, biomass, tidal power;…….
tax measures (such as capital cost allowances) will also encourage cogeneration, energy efficiency.
Expected to achieve some 15 Mt CO2 reductions annually.
Post-2012 Regimes
Canadian Views
Canada is now preparing for its Chairmanship of
COP-11/MOP –1 in Montreal
Montreal Declaration (and Article 3.9)
Minister Dion’s Three I’s for Montreal Declaration:
Implement (the Kyoto Protocol…)
 Improve (the CDM and address shortcomings of Kyoto…)
 Innovate (new approaches to post-2012 regime).
Six key elements:
Canadian discussion paper
Six Key Elements
Environmental Effectiveness
 long-term framework and targets, real reductions, contribute to other
environmental objectives, guided by science;
Broader Participation
 allows for broadest participation, includes largest emitters, sectoral approach;
 contribute to development goals of all countries, consistent with economic
growth, mobilize private investment;
Strong Global Market
 maximizes market forces, international carbon market;
 deployment of existing technology, development of new transformative
technologies, technology agreements, common standards;
 mechanisms to assist developing countries, new funds, linkage to mitigation,
other stresses, not just developing countries.
System of Global Sectoral
attempt to integrate six elements…
 targets for each sector (not necessarily emissions,
technology agreements)…
 shift the focus to markets and away from country
targets (more open access)…
 competitiveness and technology orientation…
 multiple points of entry…
 global investment funds (ODA, technology,
 details still being developed
Some Considerations
Canadian credibility in providing leadership (emission record,
lack of carbon market,...)
Legacy of Montreal – what should it be?
Parallel initiatives (UN/FCCC, G-8, Asia-Pacific
partnership,…) – integrating ideas and processes…
Global sectoral strategies – how will they work?
Importance of the market
Mainstreaming climate change into development and security
(less environment-centric – see Article 3)
Future role of terrestrial carbon sinks
Role of science – evolution of IPCC