Replacement deal for Kyoto needed

January 31, 2012

Climate change caused by rising emissions is a serious environmental challenge facing our planet.

Here at home, our government has taken a number of steps to address climate change, including a commitment to reduce emissions by 17% below 2005 levels by 2020. We have invested $4.1 billion in ecoENERGY initiatives, implemented stricter emissions standards for cars and light trucks, and introduced draft emissions standards for the coal sector.

However, more needs to be done to meet our 2020 target. Stricter emissions standards for transport trucks and for major industrial emitters will be coming in order to meet our target.

As the producer of only 2 per cent of global emissions, Canada alone cannot address climate change. Climate change is a global problem requiring a global solution. That is why we are committed to working toward a new international treaty to replace the Kyoto Protocol that will include all major emitters, like the United States, India and China.

Last December, Canada withdrew from the Kyoto Protocol because it does not include major emitters like the United States, China and India, who produce more than 30% of global emissions.

We also withdrew because we were unable to meet the target in Kyoto. The previous government had committed to the target but had done little over 13 years to meet the target. When we took office in 2006, we realized that meeting the Kyoto target would have meant the equivalent of removing every car, truck, ATV, tractor, ambulance, police car and vehicle from Canadian roads, or shutting down the entire farming sector or cutting the heat to every home, office, hospital and factory building in Canada. Clearly, this would not work and that is why we exited Kyoto.

However, we do believe that we need to replace Kyoto with a new, legally binding international climate change agreement that includes all major emitters. We believe that the Cancun Agreements (adopted at COP 16 and stemming from the Copenhagen Accord) provide a practical framework to move forward. Furthermore, the signatories to the Cancun Agreements cover three quarters of global emissions, which is double the amount covered by Kyoto.

The environmental effects of climate change are real and serious. As your representative in Ottawa, I will continue to push for a new international climate change agreement to replace the Kyoto Protocol and continue to advocate for further action to meet our 2020 target.

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