Canada cannot meet climate targets - chemical group

02 December 2009 16:10  [Source: ICIS news]

Canada cannot meet climate change targetsTORONTO (ICIS news)--Canada cannot meet its climate change targets but should rather seek to work closely with the US to manage greenhouse gas emissions in North America, Canadian chemicals producers said on Wednesday.

“We need to design our system to be comparable to the US for competitiveness, to avoid US border measures and to recognise the reality of Canada-US integration … moving with the US is far better than developing a plan on our own,” the Canadian Chemical Producer’s Association (CCPA) said.

Canadian products sold into the US represent about 57% of Canadian chemical production, "so the US is overwhelmingly important to us,” CCPA said.

The group said it opposed legislation under debate in Canada’s federal parliament to lock in legislated targets for greenhouse gas emissions.

Doing so would force Canada into buying emissions credits abroad, at a cost of at least Canadian dollars (C$) 6.0bn ($5.8bn) by 2020, without actually reducing the country’s emissions, it said.

Rather, Canada should move to a cap and trade approach, like the US.

In doing so, Canada should not propose a specific cap for energy intensive and trade exposed (EITE) sectors like chemicals.

Rather, a Canadian cap on those sectors should be comparable or slightly less than a US cap because Canada’s EITE sectors were much more trade-exposed than comparable sectors in the US, the group said.

“It’s a question of striking the right balance, once we know where the US will land,” it said.

As further measures to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions, CCPA called on the government to improve and extend measures providing for accelerated capital cost allowance for new capital investments.

There was a clear link between new capital investments and companies’ improved environmental performance on greenhouse gas emissions and pollutants generally, it said.

Also, the government should set up a technology fund to support emissions reductions, it said.

CCPA believes that investment in technology would be the key to resolving the climate change challenge, it said.

A high-profile study published in October found that Canada could meet its greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction targets, but at a huge cost to the oil and gas industry in Alberta province.

($1 = C$1.04)

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