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Federal green plan leaked, emissions trading contemplated

According to a Canadian Press story by Joan Bryden and Jim Bronskill, the details of Canada's new federal green pla...


According to a Canadian Press story by Joan Bryden and Jim Bronskill, the details of Canada’s new federal green plan were mistakenly faxed to the Liberal opposition.

In a speech that was supposed to be issued later in the week, the government promises to ban inefficient light bulbs, cut greenhouse gas emissions by 20 per cent and dramatically reduce air pollution as part of a national environmental initiative.

Details of the long-awaited plan unexpectedly became public after a speech Environment Minister John Baird intended to deliver later in the week was faxed by mistake to the opposition Liberals.

The blueprint, dubbed the Turning the Corner plan, includes various measures to stop the rise of greenhouse gases in three to five years.

“The previous government was never able to put on the brakes,” the speech says. “We will do that beginning today.”

Once halted, the government plans to reduce greenhouse gases, so that by 2020, Canada will have cut them by 150 million tonnes. That represents 20 per cent of current emissions.

The government also plans to impose targets on industry so that air pollution is slashed in half by 2015.

To reduce greenhouse gases, the government plans to impose “strict targets” for industry. Firms will be able to make in-house reductions, take advantage of domestic emissions trading, purchase offsets, use the Clean Development Mechanism under the Kyoto Protocol, and invest in a technology fund.

In addition to exploring domestic trading, the government will look at future linkages with emissions trading systems in the U.S. and possibly Mexico.

That represents something of a change from Conservative policy. Harper and Baird have repeatedly brushed aside requests to take part in any international trading of emissions credits.

Companies that reduced their greenhouse gas emissions prior to 2006 will also be rewarded with a one-time credit for early action.

Baird’s remarks also say the government will announce a ban on conventional incandescent light bulbs on Wednesday.

Harper and Baird are scheduled to travel to Thornhill, Ontario on Thursday to announce new limits on heavy polluters.


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