April 13, 2005 15:12 ET

Kyoto plan aims low, hopes high: WWF

Aggressive implementation now needed to combat rising Canadian greenhouse gases and global temperatures Attention: Business/Financial Editor, Environment Editor, Energy Editor, News Editor, Science Editor TORONTO, ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - April 13, 2005) - The long-anticipated Kyoto implementation plan announced by Canada's government today aims for success by expecting something from everyone but not enough from the major emitters of greenhouse gases, says WWF.

"Environment Minister Stéphane Dion has shown leadership in finally getting a plan that adds up to Canada's Kyoto obligations, but this government has to switch gears and get into implementation mode as soon as possible," says Julia Langer, Conservation Director, World Wildlife Fund Canada (WWF-Canada).

Financial support and incentives focused on eliminating coal-fired electricity, improving energy efficiency, and deploying renewable energy sources can be deployed quickly, and could make a huge dent in Canada's emissions. Burning coal is the single biggest source of greenhouse gas pollution in the world, and is consequently the focus of WWF's PowerShift! campaign that aims to move the power sector off coal to clean, renewable energy.

The disappointingly modest emission-reduction expectations from Canada's major industrial facilities, and the subsidies being offered for further reductions, stand in stark contrast to the European's more efficient, market-based approach. "Hopefully the Canadian government will strengthen its effort before the world arrives in Montreal in November for the Kyoto Protocol's First Meeting of the Parties," says Jennifer Morgan, Director of WWF's Global Climate Change Programme. "A more ambitious and creative regime for major industries would actually cut rather than simply slow their emissions plus allow Canada to participate in the Europe's carbon trading market."

WWF, the global conservation organization, has worked for ratification and implementation of the Kyoto Accord for a decade, including playing a key role in convincing Russia to sign on to the agreement. At the 11th Conference of the Parties (CoP 11), which begins Canada's role as the Chair of the process, WWF will press all countries to think beyond meeting their current Kyoto obligations given evidence that dangerous climate change will happen without even more aggressive reductions than are currently proposed.

Unless the global average temperature stays well below a 2 degree Celsius increase in comparison to pre-industrial levels, the impacts on nature include the future extinction of polar bears according to WWF's recently released 2 Degrees Is Too Much!: Evidence and Implications of Dangerous Climate Change in the Artic.

Contact Information

  • Kyle Ferguson, Manager, Communications, World Wildlife Fund Canada
    Primary Phone: 416-574-1016
    Secondary Phone: 416-484-7728
    E-mail: kferguson@wwfcanada.org