Standing Committee on Environment
and Sustainable Development
Comité permanent de l’environnement
et du développement durable
HOUSE OF COMMONS
CHAMBRE DES COMMUNES
Ottawa, 8 December 1997 -- KYOTO AND BEYOND
The House of Commons Standing Committee on Environment and Sustainable Development today tabled its report "Kyoto and Beyond: Meeting the Climate Change Challenge".
The report charts a course for Canada both for reducing harmful greenhouse gas emissions, and realizing major economic benefits. An important overall conclusion of the Committee is that "The challenge of climate change offers a unique convergence of economic and environmental goals. The economy can only benefit from energy efficiency and innovation and the life of fossil fuel reserves will be prolonged through more careful consumption."
The Committee learned of a number of successful initiatives already underway and also noted areas where considerable progress still needs to be made. "Kyoto and Beyond" therefore recommends a number of measures that will allow Canada to improve its performance and to capitalize on this "unique convergence":
- the tax system should be reoriented to allow the gradual elimination of subsidies to fossil fuel industries;
- Canadians should be encouraged, through tax and other incentives, to switch from coal and oil to alternative fuels, such as natural gas and ethanol, which produce fewer harmful emissions;
- revenue realized from the reorientation of the tax system should be redirected to encourage the development of innovative energy producing technologies and to assist communities affected by the switch in fuel use;
- a Canada Atmospheric Fund should be created, modelled on the Toronto Atmospheric Fund, to make investments or loans in the public interest to achieve significant emission reductions;
- the Government of Canada should develop a National Transportation Strategy aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions, including the increased use of public transit and further development of alternative fuels; and
- a national program should be put in place to promote and facilitate the use of methane landfill emissions, for use in district heating.
"Reaping economic benefits while helping to reverse global warming takes imagination and determination. In Canada we have both", says Charles Caccia, Chair of the Standing Committee.
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For more information:
Clerk of the Committee