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Speech

Notes for Remarks by
The Honourable Peter Kent, P.C., M.P.,
Minister of the Environment,
on the Greenhouse Gas Reporting Program Summary Report
Toronto, Ontario
April 11, 2012

Good morning,

Thank you for joining me.

I’m pleased to share good news with you today on the state of Canada’s environment with respect to greenhouse gas emissions.

While our continued economic recovery remains our Government’s top priority, we are working to balance the need for a cleaner and healthier environment with protecting jobs and economic growth. And we are working to see a real reduction in emissions.

Our Government has already taken action on two of Canada’s largest sources of emissions--transportation and electricity. In fact, since forming government in 2006, we have implemented several important key measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

In October 2010, new light duty vehicle regulations for model years 2010-2016, the first ever national greenhouse gas regulations in Canada, came into force.

We are working with the United States to further address emissions from transportation for model years 2017 and beyond. Through the implementation of the proposed standards, it is anticipated that the average greenhouse gas emissions from some segments of the 2018 Canadian fleet of new heavy-duty vehicles will be reduced by more than 20 per cent from those sold in 2010.

On August 19, 2011, the Government released the proposed draft regulations to reduce emissions from the coal-fired electricity sector. Final regulations are expected to be published in the first part of 2012, and regulations are scheduled to come into effect on July 1, 2015.

Today, on behalf of our Government, I’m pleased to release the latest data on our greenhouse gas emissions. I’m also happy to report that we are seeing good progress in our sector-by-sector approach to reducing our greenhouse gas emissions through the Copenhagen Accord to 17 per cent below 2005 levels by 2020. 

This is an ambitious target that we remain strongly committed to.

Last summer, our projections showed that we are already one-quarter of the way towards meeting our target. This new information provides hard evidence of the solid steps we have taken forward. 

The documents we are releasing today--the National Inventory Report, and the data collected from Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reporting Program--show that, between 2009 and 2010, our emissions remained steady despite economic growth. As you may know, during that time, our economy grew 3.2 per cent.

Our per capita emissions remain at a historic low of 20.3 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent per person, their lowest level since tracking began in 1990.

Over 2005 levels, per capita emissions in 2010 were 2.6 tonnes of CO2 lower per person lower.

This demonstrates that we can grow our economy without increasing emissions levels. 

Through a responsible, practical approach to managing both the environment and the economy, we will continue on this path.

This is not just a blip, this is a continuing trend. And when you look at the statistic revealed in today’s reports noting that yes, emissions have grown since 1990, (22 years ago), by 17 per cent, Canada’s economy has grown 60.5 per cent. This really puts the state of Canada’s emissions in perspective.

Also, since 2005, annual greenhouse gas emissions have dropped by 48 megatonnes. We have seen emissions decline in almost all sectors, including the oil and gas and electricity generation.

This is a collaborative effort on the parts of federal, provincial, and municipal governments, as well as commendable by individual Canadians and businesses to reduce their carbon footprint. Today’s news is also thanks to strengthened energy efficiency standards, home energy retrofits and support for renewable power have had a positive effect. 

Our balanced approach to managing the environment and the economy will boost our efforts to achieve a sustainable and prosperous recovery, and preserve our Canadian economic advantage now and in the future.

Thank you.