Canada’s Approach to Tackling Climate Change John M R Stone Carleton University Ottawa, Canada.
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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 CO 2 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 CO 2 eq. - some 45% above Kyoto target). 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 CO 2 - equivalent 834 270 Mt or 45% 560 Kyoto target six percent below 1990 level Forecast 726 596 Business-as-Usual Scenario
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 programs. 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. Includes: 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 inadequate. Cost to industry will be capped at $Cdn15 per tonne CO 2 (honouring previous commitment). New system will cover some 700 companies and is to achieve 45 Mt CO 2 reductions. 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 technology investments (for expected post-2012 emission reductions) limited to 9Mt CO 2, Greenhouse Gas Technology Investment Fund. Notice to use Canadian Environmental Protection Act has been gazetted 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 Canada. Fund will have minimum of $Cdn 1 billion over five years and is expected to yield 75-115 Mt CO 2 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 CO 2 annually.
Renewable Energy Wind Power Production Incentive: budget quadrupled to $Cdn20 million over 5 years; target of additional 4000 MW Renewable Power Production Incentive: 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 co- generation, energy efficiency. Expected to achieve some 15 Mt CO 2 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; Sustainability contribute to development goals of all countries, consistent with economic growth, mobilize private investment; Strong Global Market maximizes market forces, international carbon market; Technology deployment of existing technology, development of new transformative technologies, technology agreements, common standards; Adaptation mechanisms to assist developing countries, new funds, linkage to mitigation, other stresses, not just developing countries.
System of Global Sectoral Strategies 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, adaptation)… 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