MPs, environmentalists slam greenhouse gas targets
Opposition members of Parliament and environmentalists slammed the Tories' emission plan Thursday, saying the government has turned its back on Canada's international commitment to the Kyoto Protocol.
The new plan, which requires most of Canada's industries to increae their energy efficiency by 18 per cent in three years, means Canada will be at least a decade behind meeting the Kyoto standards.
Liberal Leader Stéphane Dion said the Tories have abandoned Kyoto as well as Canadians.
"It's not a plan; it's a scam. There's no real effort to go somewhere where emissions will really go down … The clean-air part of their plan is a fake and the climate-change part of their plan is an abdication of our responsibility towards Kyoto."
NDP Leader Jack Layton said it was a "disappointing day.
"This won't get the job done. With this plan, we fall further behind our international obligations."
He called on the Conservatives to take their proposals to the House of Commons for a vote.
Liberal environment critic David McGuinty said Thursday's announcement means the government is clearly saying it has abandoned Kyoto.
"Never has so much PR delivered so little," he said.
Because Canada will be in breach of the protocol, industrywill not be allowed to engage in carbon trading on the international scene and that means emissions will continue to rise for at least another five years, McGuinty said.
"What we're seeing here is no absolute reductions, intensity-based reductions, which means it keeps on going up.
Bloc Québécois Leader Gilles Duceppe called the plan deceptive and bad for Quebec.
He said Quebec industries have taken steps to cut greenhouse gas output, but won't be able to sell emission-reduction credits on the open market based on past achievements.
"Quebec will be penalized by that because we made efforts in the past. Those efforts are not really considered since there will be not such a thing as a [market] to exchange credits for those who made the efforts in the past."
Green party Leader ElizabethMaysaid the plan offers too many ways to escape hard choices.
"What I didn't expect was that the details of getting there would be so full of loopholes, so limp, so weak in terms of how industry will have to respond."
Government 'on wrong side': wildlife interest
Keith Stewart ofWorld Wildlife Fund Canada said there are flexibility mechanisms built into Kyoto that would allow Canada to meet the protocol, but the government is walking away from them.
"I don't think another decade of delay is anything that Canadians want, and I think the government's on the wrong side of the science and they are going to be on the wrong side of history."
John Bennettof ClimateForChange, a new Canadian environmental group, said the plan doesn't go far enough to deal with global warming.
"We were told this was their green plan, but what do we get? A few vague numbers, no hard targets … I am really shocked. I thought this plan would be tougher than this.
"They're not trying to deal with climate change."
He said industry will never meet the 18 per cent target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in three years.
"They're not going to make it. There's not enough teeth in the regulations for industry to meet it. The only tough thing about the plan will be selling it to Canadians."
- The Tory plan requires most industries in Canada to become 18 per cent more energy efficient by 2010, not to reduce greenhouse gases by 18 per cent by 2010, as originally reported. That will put Canada at least a decade behind the Kyoto targets, not eight years.May 10, 2007 4:30 PM ET