In December 1997, Canada and 160
other countries met in Kyoto, Japan, and agreed to
targets to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.
Canada's target is to reduce its GHG emissions to 6
percent below 1990 levels by the period between 2008
and 2012. This is comparable to the targets taken on
by our major trading partners. All the countries of
the world have been meeting every year since the
signing of the Kyoto Protocol (Accord if signed) to
define the operational rules.
Canada's intends to achieve the
majority of its GHG reductions through actions taken
domestically. Not only will this contribute to the
global climate change effort, but this will also
bring other environmental benefits to Canadians such
as cleaner air. It will also create opportunities
for investment in new advanced technologies. The
Government of Canada is taking concrete action to
address climate change. The Government of Canada is
investing $500 million in Action Plan 2000. This
investment, along with the $625 million over five
years announced in Budget 2000, results in a total
commitment of $1.1 billion to address climate change
over the next five years, and builds on the $850
million that the Government of Canada spent during
the previous five years.
However, not everyone in the
petroleum industry is supporting the Kyoto Accord.
Canada has not ratified the agreement due to
opposition from the Alberta government. A poll
conducted in 2002 found that 72 percent of Albertans
were against the Accord. The United States has
withdrawn from the Kyoto Protocol and developing
countries such as China, India, and Mexico are
currently exempt from meeting reduction targets
under Kyoto. If Canada ratifies the Kyoto Protocol,
some people say that Canada will be at an economic
disadvantage because industry and investment will
leave Canada for the US and other countries where
they will not have to incur the extra costs of
meeting Kyoto Protocol reduction targets.