Canada Makes Dramatic Shift on Climate Change Management Policy

Canada already helps developing nations adapt to climate change and nowthe Canadian government has signalled that it is getting serious aboutreducing emissions at home.

In a very significant development,on Thursday December 3, 2009, the ruling Conservative governmentsignalled that it will now focus on absolute caps on industrialemissions. Previous Conservative policies had called for carbon intensity targets that would have allowed businesses to meet targets while increasing their emissions.

Appearing at a parliamentary committee, Environment Minister Jim Prenticesaid the government’s strategy would call for a national cap-and-tradesystem with "absolute caps" to put a price on carbon, under aharmonized structure with the United States. "We are talking about acap-and-trade system, a continental cap-and-trade system that involvesabsolute emission reductions, not intensity targets," said Prentice.

APreported that Canadian Prime Minister Harper said he looked forward to“a comprehensive agreement in Copenhagen, where we will actually get onwith reducing emissions as opposed to just setting absolute targets.”

Canada’sadoption of absolute limits and cap-and-trade are important concessionsfrom a government that up until now has not been amenable to greeninterests.

Prentice will participate in COP15 next week inCopenhagen where there is renewed hope that we may be able to reach anew political agreement to reduce climate change causing emissions.

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