On October 24, 2002, the Government of Canada released an overview of its draft plan on “Climate Change: Achieving our Commitments Together.” Provincial and territorial environment ministers discussed this overview in Halifax, Nova Scotia on October 28. The provinces, which agreed about the need to reduce greenhouse gases, rejected the federal plan, saying they will develop their own plan.
Prime Minister Jean Chretien has said that Parliament will be asked to vote on ratification of the Kyoto Protocol before the end of the year.
The draft plan — which would involve about 240 megatonnes of emission reductions per year — asks industry to bear as much as 40 per cent of the total burden for cutting greenhouse gases and asks consumers to take less than 10 per cent of the load.
Several business and political leaders have criticized the draft plan, saying it is unrealistic, based on questionable science, and too short on specifics. Alberta Environment Minister Lorne Taylor accused the federal government of trying to rush a vague plan and called on Ottawa to delay a ratification vote until next year. Ontario Environment Minister Chris Stockwell called the draft plan an “unmitigated absolute joke.”
The next federal-provincial meeting on the draft plan is scheduled for November 21, 2002. The provinces are also calling for a First Ministers meeting with the Prime Minister.
Read Guy Crittenden’s editorial “Under the weather” in the October/November edition of Hazardous Materials Management magazine at www.hazmatmag.com
For further information, read the draft plan overview and the Kyoto Protocol: