The government's upcoming regulations on pollution from heavy industry must match or exceed the standard set by Bill C-30 (The Clean Air and Climate Change Act), the Executive Directors of ten of Canada's largest environmental organizations said today.
"After a thorough re-write by a parliamentary committee, C-30 now sets the bar," said Bruce Cox, Executive Director of Greenpeace. "The Prime Minister cannot ignore the committee's hard work when he announces regulations for climate change and air pollution in the coming weeks."
"Instead of announcing a regulation that falls short of C-30, the Prime Minister could just support this breakthrough bill and bring it to a vote in the House of Commons as soon as possible," said Marlo Raynolds, Executive Director of the Pembina Institute.
The following features of Bill C-30 form the basis of a strong regulatory system for greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and air pollution in Canada:
- Minimum delay: C-30 would limit GHG emissions starting in January 2008, and set air pollution standards within one year
- Absolute targets: C-30 would put a hard cap on GHG emissions from heavy industry, set at a "Kyoto" level of 6 per cent below 1990 emission levels for the 2008-2012 period
- International benchmark: Under C-30, air pollution standards in Canada would have to meet or exceed international best practices
- Price signal: C-30 sets a price on GHG emissions ($30/tonne by 2011) that is high enough to trigger real changes in Canada's economy
- Emissions trading under the Kyoto Protocol: C-30 allows heavy industry to invest in green development projects that reduce emissions in poorer countries as a way to meet their target.
When the Clean Air Act was first introduced in October, the government's bill was widely rejected as being too weak to clean the air or protect Canadians against climate change. However, an all-party legislative committee rewrote the bill in March, adding in important new provisions for greenhouse gases, air pollutants, vehicle regulations, and energy efficiency.
"The committee has done its work, and the ball is now in the government's court," said Stephen Hazell, Executive Director of the Sierra Club. "The government can bring this to the finish line by supporting C-30, and by making sure that its regulations on heavy industry live up to the standard that C-30 has set."
The 10 environmental leaders wrote to the Prime Minister last week to express their support for C-30, and to call on him to get the bill passed into law.
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For more information, please contact:
Bruce Cox, Greenpeace, 416-419-7341
Julie Gelfand, Nature Canada, 613-562-3447 ext. 231
Stephen Hazell, Sierra Club of Canada, 613-241-4611
Robert Mitchell, Sierra Legal Defence Fund, 604-319-7020
Ken Ogilvie, Pollution Probe, 416-926-1907 ext. 231
Marlo Raynolds, Pembina Institute, 403-607-9427
Sidney Ribaux, Équiterre: call 514-247-1006
Mike Russill, WWF Canada: call 613-862-1852
Rick Smith, Environmental Defence: call (416) 323-9521 ext.
Morag Carter, Climate Change Program Director, David Suzuki Foundation: call 613-302-9913