nder our government's leadership,Canada, while emitting just two per centof the world's GHGs, is determined to doour part for the planet. That is why our government has madeclear commitments to be a world leader in cleanelectricity generation and to reduce greenhouse gasemissions by 17 per cent below 2005 levels by 2020.We inscribed our 2020 GHG reduction target in theCopenhagen Accord, and do not let anyone tell youthat it is not not an ambitious target.Canada has a growing in population. Our economicprosperity is also growing, partly because we produceand sell energy to the rest of the world. But both of those factors contribute significantly to GHGemissions. That is why I also want to make it absolutelyclear that I am not wagging my finger at industry alone: we all have to take responsibility for addressingclimate change.Our government also has a comprehensive plan toachieve real emission reductions in the short, medium,and long terms, while maintaining Canada's economiccompetitiveness and its ability to create jobs forCanadians. There is nothing magical or glamorousabout it: achieving our objectives requires a systematicapproach of regulating GHG emissions sector by sector and, where appropriate, alignment with theUnited States.Canadians tend to get their hackles up whenever theyhear terms like "harmonise" or "align" in the samesentence as "United States". But however much wemay growl about it, when it comes to meaningful workon the environment - and climate change in particular- there is no practical alternative. Furthermore, ourCLIMATE CHANGE MILESTONES024G8 MEMBER COUNTRIESTHE HONOURABLE PETER KENT, MINISTER OF THE ENVIRONMENT, CANADAUTop right: UN Photo/Devra Berkowitz; Right: © European Union, 2011strategic efforts with the United States are by nomeans the only example of our intent to work withothers to a common goal. Internationally, we are active,constructive participants in the United Nations'climate change framework agreement and we areworking to ensure that becomes legally binding. It is also worth noting that last June we announced a$400 million investment in new and additionalclimate financing for 2010 alone as part of ourcommitment to the Copenhagen Accord. This isCanada's largest ever contribution to supportinternational efforts to address climate change. Thisfunding will help least developed countries and smallisland states face the challenges of climate change.Domestically, our plan is shaped by consultation withthe provinces and other stakeholders. Strong federalleadership is necessary to provide certainty for industryand, where necessary, to stay in step with the UnitedStates. I have already spoken to my provincialcounterparts to assure them that we will continue towork closely together, leveraging the steps they'vetaken to reduce GHG emissions. This is the mostsensible approach given that the development of acontinental cap-and-trade system is unlikely in thenear term. All indications are that the United Stateswill move forward with GHG requirements led by theEnvironmental Protection Agency. And so, given thehighly integrated nature of the North Americaneconomy, we will align with that strategy whereappropriate. This is consistent with the way we havemoved forward to date. Over the last few years, our government has usedenvironmental regulation because it reflects the beliefthat initiatives based upon the "polluter pay principle"yield the greatest overall benefits to society.
" "WHILE PROTECTING THEENVIRONMENTAND HUMANHEALTH, CLEARAND FOCUSEDREGULATORY ACTIONS ALSOPROVIDE INDUSTRY WITHTHE CERTAINTYNEEDED TO SUSTAIN ECONOMIC ANDJOB GROWTHG8 MEMBER COUNTRIES025While protecting the environment and human health,clear and focused regulatory actions also provideindustry with the certainty needed to sustain economicand job growth.It is a question of the balance I referred to earlier. Ourgovernment has pursued its sector-by-sector regulatoryapproach beginning with two of the largest sources ofGHG emissions: electricity and transportation. In onecase, we have set our own course. In the other, we haveworked closely with our American partners.The electricity sector is a prime example of areas whereit is impractical to align our climate change policy.Ours is one of the cleanest systems in the world: wehave 51 coal-fired plants compared to 650 in theUnited States. That is why our new regulations for coal-fired electricity generation are unique to Canada and,with an implementation date of 2015, will make usone of the first countries to phase out emissions fromdirty coal.The proposed regulations send a clear signal toindustry at a time when many older plants are about tobe replaced. By sharing this plan early, we caninfluence investment decisions now and help avoid thenew construction of higher-emitting facilities.Electricity differs from transportation, where we haveworked closely with the United States from the outsetto get the plan right. Together we have establishedstringent standards for GHG emissions from passengercars and light trucks for the 2011 to 2016 modelyears. Going forward, we will continue working with theUnited States to develop even tougher standards for2017 and later model years. Our government has alsoannounced its intent to develop regulations to limitGHG emissions from new on-road heavy-duty vehicles,in alignment with those being developed in the UnitedStates.The regulations will apply to 2014 and latermodel year heavy-duty vehicles.Our plan includes action to reduce GHG and airpollutant emissions from the aviation, marine, and railmodes. Canada is working with the United States andits international partners through the InternationalMaritime Organization and the International CivilAviation Organization to develop and implement newemissions standards for these modes as well.The transportation and electricity sectors will yieldimportant results and make progress towards ourgovernment's 2020 target. That said, significant work remains. That is why we intend to continue todevelop performance standards for other major sectorsof the economy.Looking forward, our government will continue toimplement its plan by developing performancestandards for all major emitters to make furtherprogress toward Canada's GHG reduction target. There is no question that environmental regulation willplay a key role in fulfilling the commitment we havemade - and will keep - to develop our naturalresources in a responsible and sustainable way.Neither is there any question that it is going to take atremendous degree of consultation and co-operation todevelop and implement the right plan to address ourenvironmental footprint. nThe above article is excerpted from the ClimateChange Milestones speech delivered by theHonourable Peter Kent, Canadian Minister of theEnvironment, at the Economic Club of Canada inToronto on 28 January 2011. For more information onEnvironment Canada visit: www.ec.gc.ca.