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[cdn-nucl-l] $1 billion Kyoto plan on the way, sources say
Posted in the Toronto Star on August 8, 2003 and at:
$1 billion Kyoto plan on the way, sources say
Liberals to unveil new spending programs Tuesday
Energy-efficient upgrades to homes worth up to $1,000
OTTAWA—The federal government is set to announce more than $1 billion in new
programs, including energy efficiency rebates for homeowners, under its
long-awaited plan for meeting Canada's promise to combat global warming
under the Kyoto Protocol.
Sources say a team of cabinet ministers, including Natural Resources
Minister Herb Dhaliwal, Environment Minister David Anderson, Industry
Minister Allan Rock and possibly Prime Minister Jean Chrétien, are scheduled
to unveil the spending program after a cabinet meeting Tuesday.
The funding plan includes money for rebate programs for both home and
commercial building retrofits, as well as support for renewable fuels and
Sources said a large chunk of the money — approximately $150 million — would
be allotted to finance partnerships involving provinces and territories.
Those governments will be able to spend the money as they see fit, for
example, providing grants to municipalities, industry and non-profit groups.
Ottawa is close to deals on those partnerships with seven provinces and
territories, but not the country's three largest greenhouse gas emitters —
Ontario, British Columbia and Quebec — said an official familiar with the
Another major new $70 million program involves rebates of up to $1,000 for
homeowners who make their homes more energy-efficient by, for example,
upgrading insulation or installing new windows. The size of the rebate will
be based on how much energy a homeowner has saved.
An additional $44 million in financial incentives will encourage retrofits
of older commercial buildings, and a $30 million program will help owners of
new buildings who want to improve energy efficiency.
The government's Kyoto plan calls for energy-efficient retrofits of 20 per
cent of homes, and commercial and institutional buildings by 2010.
The key initiative aimed at individual citizens is a so-called "One-tonne
Challenge." A multi-million-dollar advertising campaign to be launched this
fall will try to convince Canadians to reduce their greenhouse gases by one
tonne — roughly one-fifth of their output.
Under the 1997 protocol, Canada must cut average greenhouse gas emissions
during 2008 and 2012 by 6 per cent below 1990 levels.
The government is launching an Internet-based calculator to help show people
how they can change their behaviour — for example, riding a bike instead of
driving and using less electricity — to help slow the rate of climate
A key Canadian climate activist welcomes the key elements of Ottawa's Kyoto
"The amounts of the money and the placement of the money seems appropriate
and well thought out," said John Bennett, executive director of the Climate
"In general, homes, commercial buildings, those kinds of things, are good
places to start because they actually create savings, but they also are an
educative tool in themselves because they involve the public and the
business community in reducing emissions."
The money has been allocated for the next three to five years. Programs will
be reassessed when funding runs out to determine whether they should receive
Other programs are expected to include:
$50 million investment for the ethanol industry, along with measures aimed
at encouraging oil companies to put more ethanol in their gasoline;
$20 million to encourage tree planting on marginal agricultural land.
Bennett questions the funding for fuel cells, arguing it will take too long
for the technology to be deployed for it to make a significant contribution
to meeting Kyoto targets. "Investment in them in the long term is good, but
that money should be different than the Kyoto money."
Other money has been earmarked for negotiations with large industrial
emitters and to allow Canada to meet international reporting obligations.