Environment Canada

Environment Canada

March 10, 2008 14:45 ET

Government Delivers Details of Greenhouse Gas Regulatory Framework

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - March 10, 2008) - The Government of Canada today published details of the Turning the Corner regulatory framework originally announced on April 26, 2007. The documents, posted to Environment Canada's website, provide additional details about how the Government of Canada will move forward with its plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

This plan includes mandatory reductions for industry, along with additional new measures to address two of Canada's key emitting sectors: oil sands and electricity.

"Last April, this government made a commitment to Canadians to cut our greenhouse gas emissions an absolute 20% by 2020," said Canada's Environment Minister John Baird. "Today, we are announcing the details of those tough measures that will put us on a path to meet our commitments."

Tough federal regulation of industry's greenhouse gas emissions will help achieve the Government's commitment to a 20% reduction in Canada's overall emissions by 2020, and will be the most important driver of change for moving Canada to a low-emission economy.

As announced in the Turning the Corner plan last April, the details of the plan include:

- Establishing a market price for carbon;

- Setting up a carbon emissions trading market, including a carbon offset system, to provide incentives for Canadians to reduce their greenhouse gas emission.

In addition, today's detailed regulations include new measures like:

- Setting a target that will effectively require oil sands starting operations in 2012 to implement carbon capture and storage; and,

- Effectively banning the construction of new dirty coal plants starting in 2012.

"Our regulations will apply to all big industry," said Minister Baird. "From the oil industry to chemical companies; from smelters to pulp and paper mills, all big industry will have to do their part."

In order to refine and improve the regulatory approach, the Government consulted extensively with environmental groups, industry and other stakeholders over the past year. This period of consultation was important to ensure Canada's regulations would result in real reductions of greenhouse gases. The Government worked to accommodate stakeholder views where reasonable, but remained focused on the primary objective of keeping its commitment to reduce greenhouse gases.

As announced last April, regulated industries will face mandatory reductions that require companies to reduce emissions 18 % by 2010 for every unit of production. The details published today specify how the targets will apply to each industry sector, how the offsets and trading systems will work and how credits will be provided to companies that took early actions to reduce their emissions.

We also believe more can be done on electricity. The federal government will establish a task force to work with the provinces and industry to reduce emissions even further by 2020, through increased hydro, renewable and nuclear electricity production and through further development of the national grid. If necessary, regulations remain an option.

Companies will be able to choose the most cost-effective way to meet their emission reduction targets from a range of options: in-house reductions, contributions to a capped time-limited technology fund, domestic emissions trading and offsets and access to the United Nations' Clean Development Mechanism. Companies that have already reduced their greenhouse gas emissions prior to 2006 will have access to a limited one-time credit for early action.

Proposed greenhouse gas regulations are expected to be published in the Canada Gazette later this year, and the regulations finalized in 2009 to come into force as planned on January 1, 2010.

Addressing industrial emissions is just one part of the Government's plan to reduce greenhouse gases and air pollution. With a long-term goal that envisions greenhouse gas emission reductions of 60 to 70% by 2050, Turning the Corner will continue to evolve as new technology and new ways of improving our environment are discovered.

For more information on what the Government is doing to reduce greenhouse gases and air pollution, visit www.ecoaction.gc.ca or call 1 800 O-Canada (1 800 622-6232, or TTY 1-800-926-9105).

Contact Information

  • Office of the Minister of the Environment
    Eric Richer
    Press Secretary
    Environment Canada Media Relations