Kyoto debate continues

The federal government is discussing an alternative to the Kyoto Protocol after key Cabinet ministers suggested the international treaty does not reflect the Canadian economic and environmental situation. A meeting of federal and provincial energy and environment ministers is scheduled for May 21-22.

Alberta plans to present its own proposal to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, which includes a commitment to similar reduction targets within 20 years instead of the 10 proposed in the Kyoto plan.

Prime Minister Jean Chretien is insisting that Canada have recognition for clean energy exports such as natural gas and hydro-electricity to the U.S. He wants 70 megatonnes of GHG emissions annually to be counted as part of Canada’s efforts to eliminate 240 megatonnes of carbon emissions each year to meet its Kyoto target. The plan calls for Canada to reduce its GHG emissions to a level of six per cent below the level produced in 1990. The U.S. has rejected the Kyoto plan in favour of voluntary controls.