A Climate Change Plan for the Purposes of the Kyoto Protocol Implementation Act – 2007

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Strengthening the Global Framework for Action

Climate change is a global problem that demands large reductions in greenhouse gas emissions around the world. However, Kyoto Protocol countries are responsible for only about a quarter of global emissions. It is also noteworthy that global emissions will be at least 30% higher in 2012 than they were in 1997 when the Protocol was concluded.

It is clear that a global effort that includes the participation of all major emitters is required to make a significant reduction in worldwide greenhouse gas emissions. Only fifteen economies around the world, of which over half are still developing, account for 80% of global emissions. The United States and Australia, which have not ratified the Kyoto Protocol, and key developing countries, such as China and India, that do not have targets under the Kyoto Protocol, represent about two-thirds of global emissions.

Within this overall effort, countries must strive to achieve real and verifiable reductions in their greenhouse gas emissions. For example, it is important that regulatory targets are set at a reasonably stringent level and met. This can be done through the use of either absolute caps or with intensity improvement-based targets, which can yield absolute reductions over time and be transformed into hard caps at an appropriate juncture.

Addressing global climate change will require action for many years to come. Key factors within the global effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions include the scale and timing of global emission reductions through to 2050 and perhaps beyond, the use of the most up-to-date science, and an understanding of the impacts of climate change.

Reducing global emissions over the long term will require a significant transformation in the capital stock of energy producing and consuming businesses and households around the world. Countries and industry will likely need to use market-driven approaches that will include the development and deployment of new technologies, as well as emissions trading. These market mechanisms may need to become more mature and robust in order to allow a transparent and comparable carbon price signal to be sent around the world.

The Government of Canada believes that many of the elements of its Plan will help position Canada to take some of these steps and thereby act as a global leader in the development of a post-Kyoto international framework to address global climate change over the long term.

Canada's actions within a global framework on climate change are guided by its work within a number of key international agreements and partnerships.

United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change

Discussions under the UNFCCC are increasingly focused on addressing climate change beyond 2012. The establishment of a broad, comprehensive framework that includes all major emitting countries will be a key goal of the United Nations High-Level Event on Climate Change in New York in September and at the next Ministerial UNFCCC Conference of the Parties (COP13) in Indonesia in December 2007.


The G8 is committed to demonstrating strong leadership and implementing approaches which optimally combine effective climate protection with energy security. At the G8 Summit in June 2007 in Heiligendamm, Germany which included leaders from Brazil, China, India, Mexico and South Africa, Canada played an important role. The Chair's summary of the discussion on climate change noted that:

North American Cooperation

Canada, Mexico and the United States represent almost one quarter of global greenhouse gas emissions. Continental cooperation could play an important role in the development of a post-Kyoto international framework.

Canada is exploring opportunities with US partners for linking Canada's emission trading system with regulatory-based emissions trading systems at the regional and state level and with any that may be established at the federal level. Canada will also explore cooperation on emissions trading with Mexico.

Canada is sharing its considerable experience and expertise in the oil and gas industry through the U.S.-led Methane to Markets Partnership and Carbon Sequestration Leadership Forum, and International Partnership for a Hydrogen Economy.

Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation

The economies of APEC account for 60% of global energy demand and include the world's four largest energy consumers as well as many of the major emitters. A number of APEC economies are engaged in a range of joint initiatives in areas such as clean coal technology, renewable energy and energy efficiency aimed at reducing greenhouse emissions.

The Asia Pacific Partnership

The Asia-Pacific Partnership (AP6), which includes the U.S., Australia, China, India, Japan and South Korea, brings together countries representing approximately 45% of the world's population, 49% of GDP, and 50% of global emissions of CO2. Through its focus on the development and deployment of climate-friendly technologies, the AP6 is a significant opportunity for Canada to work in cooperation with key developed and developing country emitters as well as the private sector to support the development and uptake of the technological solutions that will be crucial to any future approach to addressing climate change. The AP6 could be a forum for Canada to pursue its objective of lower greenhouse gas emissions through technological solutions.

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