Canada wants Kyoto softened

Ottawa, Canada (GLOBE-Net) - While still part of the United Nations climate change negotiations, Canada is looking outside that framework. Canada also wants Kyoto Protocol targets to be softened and made more flexible for the second stage of the Agreement and special consideration because of its status as an energy producer and exporter.

These and other points were contained in a submission by Canada in advance of meetings taking place in Bonn, Germany this week related to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Kyoto Protocol. Canada made two submissions to the UN body.

The first was provided to The Dialogue on Long-term Cooperative Action, which was set up to examine approaches to future negotiations.

In it Canada declared a preference for a more flexible regime that allowed countries to choose their own best methods for reducing emissions. These could include working with private industry, regional and municipal governments, or within the framework of other multilateral agreements and organizations, the paper states.

The paper refers to the Asia-Pacific Partnership on Clean Development and Climate, the six-nation pact involving the United States, Japan, China, India, South Korean and Australia that is based on voluntary, industry-led reductions. Other potential options are mentioned several times, including initiatives that are “within and outside” the UN process.

The Canadian submission also states that climate change efforts should also be coupled with other sustainable development goals, such as economic stability, energy security, and health and environmental protection.

Canada wants longer time horizons for the second stage of the plan, and wants nations to receive special consideration to account for climate, geography, and economic characteristics

“Some countries are also net energy exporters whose exports provide other countries with opportunities to switch to cleaner sources of fuel,” says the paper, clearly referring to Canada.

Canada’s submission can be read here (PDF).

The second submission, to the Ad-Hoc Working Group, covers many of the same points. It can be read here (PDF).

For more, read the article from May 8th, 2006: Kyoto - What will be Canada’s role?


Total greenhouse gas emissions in Canada in 2004 were 26.6 percent above 1990 levels, translating to 34.6 percent above the Kyoto Protocol target.

Total emissions in 2004 were 758 mega-tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e), a 6 percent increase over the previous year, according to the latest data from Environment Canada. The national target under the Kyoto Protocol is 563 Mt.

The small increase since 2003 was mainly due to reduced emissions from electricity due to displacement of coal by nuclear power, and less consumption of heating fuel because of warmer weather.

See also Article: Worldwide emissions rise.

Since 1990, over 90 percent of the 154 mega-tonnes of emissions increases have come from the energy and transportation sectors.

Within the energy sector, emissions from the electricity and steam generation sub-sector rose by 34.9 mega-tonnes, while petroleum industries experienced 58.9 percent growth in emissions between 1990 and 2004, largely attributable to a growth in fossil fuel exports to the United States.

Vehicle emissions rose by 39.1 mega-tonnes during that period, partially caused by an increase in light-duty truck emissions from the growing popularity of sport utility vehicles. Heavy truck transport also increased.

Canada’s National Greenhouse Gas Inventory (1994-2004) can be viewed here.

Environment Minister Rona Ambrose outlined in the House of Commons last week plans for a ‘Made in Canada’ approach for dealing with climate change, noting the Budget 2006 tax credit for public transit passes; a 5% renewable fuels commitment by 2010; a planned review of the Canadian Environmental Protection Act; and a review of the Canada-US Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement.
In order to reach Canada’s Kyoto targets, it would be necessary to “shut down every car, truck, plane and train in Canada today,” stated the Minister. “Before we engage in future commitments internationally, we will clean up our own backyard. We are focusing on Canadian solutions that address Canada’s environment,” she added.

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