The Dernogalizer

December 15, 2009

Shame on Canada!

Canada has already been considered a disaster and embarrassment when it comes to emissions reductions targets and finance.  The ignorance of their Prime Minister Stephen Harper on climate policy rivals that of George Bush.  Now it’s leaked that Canada is strongly considering weakening it’s already pitiful targets.  Below is a fact sheet explaining what was found in the secret documents, as well as a video explaining.

Fact Sheet: Leaked Canadian Cabinet Documents

December 15, 2009

Late on December 14, CBC News reported that it had obtained draft
presentations to Canada’s federal Cabinet by Environment Minister Jim
Prentice. The leaked documents, prepared in recent weeks, describe the
minister’s new proposal for regulation of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions
from the oil & gas sector and the “emissions-intensive trade exposed
sectors” (i.e., heavy manufacturing and mining) respectively.

Key implications of these documents:

1. For the oil and gas sector, the new proposal is more than three times
weaker (in terms of reductions in annual emissions in 2020 below
business-as-usual levels) than the government’s 2008 “Turning the Corner”
regulatory proposal.

2. The new proposal also appears to be at least three times weaker than
Turning the Corner for the manufacturing and mining sectors.

3. Based on the previous two points, it can be concluded beyond doubt that
the government is planning not to meet its already weak national GHG
emissions target of 20% below 2006 by 2020.

4. The Minister presents the proposal as harmonizing with U.S. policy, but
in reality it is far weaker than U.S. policy — not just on targets, but also
on other key policy details.

Supporting details:

*       Under the new proposal, reductions in annual emissions in 2020,
relative to business-as-usual, would total 15 megatonnes (Mt) in the oil and
gas sector, compared to 48 Mt under Turning the Corner. The new proposal
would leave the oil & gas sector’s emissions 37% above the 2006 level in
2020, compared to 6% below under Turning the Corner.

*       For an existing manufacturing or mining facility, the new proposal
is three times weaker than Turning the Corner, in terms of reductions in
annual emissions in 2020 below business-as-usual. New facilities would
receive free emissions allowances to cover all their emissions, which
implies that they would not have to make any reduction in emissions below
business-as-usual.

*       In reality, industrial emissions in 2020 would be even higher than
the new, weakened targets, because the new proposal would allow firms to
make payments into a technology fund instead of making actual emission
reductions.

*       Environment Canada’s economic analysis published in March 2008
already showed that Turning the Corner fell well short of meeting the
government’s national GHG target for 2020. The dramatic further weakening of
industry targets in the new proposal would Climate Action Network Canada –
Réseau action climat Canada page 2 of 2 mean that Canada could only meet
the government’s national target by making extraordinarily steep emission
reductions in sectors like transportation, buildings and agriculture. Since
the government clearly has no intention of implementing such draconian
policies in those sectors, the new proposal demonstrates that the government
has no intention of meeting its national GHG target for 2020.

*       The documents are presented as a proposal to harmonize Canadian
policy with the U.S. Waxman-Markey bill, passsed by the House of
Representives in June 2009, and the basis for the bill now being debated in
the Senate. But the new proposal is weaker than Waxman-Markey in four major
respects:
1. Technology fund. As noted above, the new proposal would allow firms to
make payments into a technology fund instead of making actual emission
reductions. This option is not included in the Waxman-Markey bill.
2. Treatment of the oil & gas sector. The Canadian proposal categorizes the
oil and gas sector as an “emissions intensive, trade exposed” (EITE) sector,
opening the door to more generous targets for the sector. In contrast, the
leaked documents acknowledge that Waxman-Markey does not consider oil and
gas as an EITE sector.
3. Weaker sectoral targets. While Waxman-Markey requires EITE sectors to
reduce emissions by 10% below the 2005 level by 2020, the new proposal would
require conventional oil & gas as well as oil sands operations to reduce by
10% below business-as-usual levels instead — a much weaker requirement.
4. No auctioning of allowances. The new Canadian proposal would give 100% of
emissions allowances to industry free of charge, but Waxman-Markey takes the
“polluter pays” approach of requiring firms to buy some allowances through
an auction from the outset, with increasing proportions auctioned over time.

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