Posted by: Nathan M. | April 15, 2010

Climate Change Plan for Canada

This is the opening to a bill being put through parliament right now:

There are few things more fundamental to
Canadians than the rich natural legacy we
have inherited. Canadians understand the
importance of the environment, both to the
quality of life we enjoy and to our future economic
progress.
There is also clear recognition that certain activities are
having a harmful effect on the environment and that
the choices we make today can determine the health of
our environment – not only for tomorrow or next year,
but 100 years from now.
One of the most pressing environmental challenges is
that of global warming. The international scientific
community has concluded that the rapid increase in the
concentration of greenhouse gas emissions in the
atmosphere can be expected to increase the earth’s
surface temperature, change our climate, alter our
environment and endanger our health.
No one country, acting alone, can solve the problem of
climate change, but by working together towards a
common goal, the nations of the world can successfully
address this challenge.

Another section:

In Canada we are already feeling the effects of climate
change, in the form of

  • increasing number and intensity of heat waves and related health problems;
  • declining water levels in the Great Lakes;
  • changes in fish migration and melting of the polar ice cap;
  • insect infestations in British Columbia’s forests;
  • hotter summers and higher levels of smog in major urban centres; and
  • more extreme weather events such as droughts on the prairies, ice storms in eastern Canada, flooding in Manitoba and Quebec.

As climate change-related events such as these become
more frequent, they will have an increasingly profound
effect on our economy, our health and our quality of life.

And, here are the specific plans for it:

  • Emissions reductions targets for large industrial
    emitters established through covenants with a
    regulatory or financial backstop that would create
    an incentive for shifting to lower-emissions
    technologies and energy sources, while providing
    flexibility for these emitters through emissions
    trading and access to domestic offsets and
    international permits;-basically a carbon tax…
  • A Partnership Fund that will cost-share emissions
    reductions in collaboration with provincial and
    territorial governments, as well as municipalities,
    Aboriginal communities, non-governmental
    organizations, and the private sector to increase
    energy efficiency and reduce emissions in the most
    effective way;
  • Strategic infastructure investments in innovative
    climate change proposals such as urban transit
    projects, intermodal transportation facilities and a
    CO2 pipeline;
  • A coordinated Innovation Strategy that allows
    Canada to benefit fully from the innovation
    possibilities of our climate change agenda and builds
    on programs such as Technology Partnerships Canada,
    the Industrial Research Assistance Program (IRAP),
    Sustainable Development Technology Canada and the
    Technology Early Action Measures (TEAM); and
  • Targeted measures including information,
    incentives, regulations and tax measures that will
    help achieve our climate change objectives in
    specific sectors and program areas.
  • expanding cost-shared home energy audits for
    homeowners; and wait…audits?
  • providing information to encourage consumers to
    purchase energy efficient appliances and
    equipment.

The whole document is here if you want to check it out, there’s a whole section on the science of it that is worth a laugh. I wouldn’t mind some comments-what do you guys think; is it legit that the government is passing through these things on weak science? Personally, I think it’s mostly a publicity thing. The government has largely been responsible for making it into a movement in the first place (the so-called green shift), and now they’re passing bills that they can point to and say-“see, we did something!”

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