Government of Canada and Prince Edward Island are Working With Partners to Reduce GHGs


CHARLOTTETOWN, Nov. 18, 2005 - The Governments of Canada and Prince Edward Island today announced that they will work in partnership with a private sector partner on a project that will help PEI maximize its renewable energy resources, and result in real and concrete reductions of greenhouse gas emissions. Participating in the announcement were the Honourable Stéphane Dion, Minister of the Environment; the Honourable Pat Binns, Premier of Prince Edward Island; the Honourable Jamie Ballem, PEI Minister of Environment, Energy and Forestry; the Honourable Shawn Murphy, M.P. for Charlottetown; and John Gaudet, Vice President Corporate Planning and Energy Supply, with Maritime Electric Company Ltd.

The upgrade to the electricity transmission system between PEI and New Brunswick, and on PEI is the first project under the Partnership Fund - a major initiative of Canada's Climate Change Plan. The overall project cost is estimated at approximately $60 million. The federal share of the funding could be up to $30 million. Details of the cost sharing arrangements will be worked out over the coming weeks among the partners.

"Provinces and territories, Aboriginal peoples, industry, environmental groups and all Canadians have a fundamental role to play in achieving our climate change goals," said Minister Dion. "I am looking forward to more announcements and more projects from across Canada and engaging more partners since we all share the goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions for the benefit of our environment, our health and our economy."

"Prince Edward Island is one of Canada's leaders in wind energy," said Minister John McCallum, Minister of Natural Resources Canada. "This project will enhance the province's ability to use its wind resources, and reflects the Government of Canada's commitment to work in partnership to develop and use cleaner, alternative sources of energy."

Prince Edward Island has a target of achieving 15% of its electricity from renewables by 2010. This represents a requirement to install approximately 60 megawatts of wind capacity by that date. With today's announcement, the Province is committed to work with the private sector developers to establish at least 200 megawatts of wind power capacity by the year 2010. That compares to PEI's peak demand of 210 megawatts of electricity and will result in a reduction of greenhouse gas emissions of about 500,000 tonnes per year.

"Prince Edward Island is committed to being a national leader in renewable energy," said Premier Binns. "Enhancing the role of renewable energy in our provincial energy mix not only reduces greenhouse gas emissions which contribute to climate change, it allows PEI to take charge of our energy future by reducing our reliance on imported fossil fuels."

"Prince Edward Island is already seeing the impact of climate change so Islanders understand that we must take action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions," added Minister Ballem. "The Province is committed to continuing to work in cooperation with the federal government and Island businesses and residents to do our part to meet our climate change objectives."

"The federal contribution to this project will involve upgrading the electricity transmission system between PEI and New Brunswick to allow the province to fully develop its wind potential" said Shawn Murphy, M.P. for Charlottetown.

"Maritime Electric is pleased to be a partner on the Transmission System Upgrade Project for Climate Change," said John Gaudet Vice President Corporate Planning and Energy Supply. "Maritime Electric has signed an MOU with the Province of Prince Edward and will be responsible for the project management of the interconnection upgrade. In conjunction with the Province of PEI, the company has developed a plan to accommodate large scale wind development on PEI. We believe this to be a good example of a public private partnership."

The project builds on the Memorandum of Understanding on climate change signed by the Government of Canada and the Province of PEI. The federal contribution to this project is anticipated to come from the Partnership Fund, the key mechanism for federal-provincial collaboration in Canada's Climate Change Plan. The $250M Partnership Fund announced as part of Budget 2005 is expected to grow to $2 to $3 billion over the next few years as more and more projects are brought forward that will bring about the goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 55-85 megatonnes by 2012.

Cost-shared investments could be allocated in three broad areas: a) deploying strategic new technologies and energy-related infrastructure, b) creating near- term emission reductions (i.e., in the 2008 to 2012 period); and c) engaging Canadians in personal emissions reductions.

The Partnership Fund is a major initiative of the updated climate change plan, Moving Forward on Climate Change: A Plan for Honouring our Kyoto Commitment. The plan is an initiative of Project Green, a set of policies and programs aimed at supporting a sustainable environment, healthy population and competitive economy. Project Green addresses environmental and competitiveness issues for the 21st century including measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. In order to increase fuel and energy efficiency and to increase Canadian and foreign markets for environment, technologies can drive our economy and protect our environment and health.

The Partnership Fund includes and expands on previous efforts to work with provinces and territories on climate change action, including the Opportunities Envelope and Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs) with provinces and territories for cooperation on addressing climate change.

A major co-benefit of the measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions will be reductions of other pollutants. The updated climate change plan is ensuring cleaner air across Canada and an improvement in Canadians' quality of life and health.

More information on Canada's updated climate change plan, Moving Forward on Climate Change: A Plan for Honouring our Kyoto Commitment, can be found at: http://www.climatechange.gc.ca

Canada will host the world from November 28 to December 9 at Montreal 2005: United Nations Climate Change Conference. Minister Dion will be President of the Conference for a one-year period from November 28, 2005, and as such will serve as Chair of Montréal 2005.

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For more information, please contact:

Steve Szabo
Environment Canada
Atlantic
(902)426-7984

Patrick Dorsey
Executive Assistant and Senior Policy Advisory
Premier's Office
(902) 368 4400

Kim Griffin
Manager of Corporate Communications & Public Affairs
Maritime Electric Company Ltd.
(902)393-8787

Sébastien Bois
Senior Media Relations Officer
Environment Canada
(819) 953-4016

Sandra Lambe
Communications Officer
PEI Environment, Energy and Forestry
(902) 368 5286