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Speech for
The Honourable Peter Kent, P.C., M.P.,
Minister of the Environment
Results of the 2012 Canadian Emissions Trends Report
Algonquin Centre for Construction Excellence
Ottawa, Ontario
August 8, 2012

Good morning everyone!

I know that Canada’s Emissions Trends is not exactly light summer reading, but it’s a report that I anticipate every year.

According to the report, Canada is now half way to its target of reducing total greenhouse gas emissions by 17 percent from 2005 levels by 2020.

This is the result of the Harper Government’s realistic, sector-by-sector approach

to greenhouse gas regulations that is reducing emissions, while continuing to

create jobs and encouraging economic growth.

Last year, we were one-quarter of the way to our goal. And now we’re half way there. This shows the significant progress we are making in meeting our Copenhagen commitment.

For the first time this year, Canada’s Emissions Trends includes in its projections the contribution of the Land Use Land-Use Change and Forestry (LULUCF) sector to reducing GHG emissions - a major milestone for Canada. Our estimates show that this sector will contribute 25 megatonnes in GHG emissions reductions towards our 2020 target.

Of course, I can’t say I’m surprised by the results. The Harper Government has been working hard to reduce emissions, and this has helped set the stage for the progress we’ve achieved this year.

Using a sector-by-sector approach, our Government has taken action on two of Canada’s largest sources of emissions -- electricity and transportation.

Last year at this time, for example, we proposed regulations to reduce emissions from the coal-fired electricity sector, and we’ll be announcing final regulations in the near future.

In October, new standards for light-duty vehicles came into force, and we’re working on even more stringent regulations for the 2017 model year and beyond.

And this past April, we proposed regulations for emissions from heavy-duty vehicles.

While I’m proud of our Government’s leadership, I’m the first to recognize this is a team effort. We’ve made progress on reducing emissions thanks to the combined efforts of all levels of government, consumers and businesses. But much work remains, and we need everyone to stay on board so we can close the gap, and reach our ultimate goal.

So, as part of the sector-by-sector approach, the Government of Canada will continue to work with its partners to address the remaining major sources of emissions. We have already started talking with the provinces, territories and industry about the oil and gas sector, and we expect to see draft regulations next year [2013].

I want to stress that everyone must play a role to reduce emissions.

So let me end by singing the praises of our hosts here at the Algonquin Centre for Construction Excellence.

What a showcase for green architecture!

You’re not just teaching skills here -- you’re imparting values.

More than ever, we need graduates with the smarts and sensibility to develop eco-technologies that can change the world.

We need citizens and business leaders with the determination to balance the needs of the economy, people and the environment.

This marvellous Centre can help make it all happen. I do believe that when we all do our part, we can make a difference — even with a challenge as complex as climate change.

This year’s Canada’s Emissions Trends confirms we’re already making that difference. The Government of Canada has made significant progress towards reducing Canada’s total emissions by 17 percent from 2005 levels by 2020. And, with our partners, we will continue to take action -- sector-by-sector -- to close the remaining gap.

Thank you.

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