Most provinces still failing on global warming

Most provinces persist in doing little or nothing to address global warming, says a new David Suzuki Foundation analysis of provincial climate change plans. And they?re not getting the push they need from the federal government.


?The necessary federal leadership to galvanize climate change action across the country is missing,? says report author Dale Marshall, Ottawa-based climate change policy analyst with the David Suzuki Foundation. ?We?re seeing some progress provincially, but it?s sporadic and not as coordinated as it needs to be. Most provinces and territories are missing huge opportunities for environmental and economic benefits.?
The Suzuki Foundation?s 2006 update of its report on global warming, All Over the Map, assesses provincial and territorial action on climate change, compares each region?s greenhouse gas emissions, analyzes their climate change plans and evaluates their records. The federal government signed the Kyoto Protocol, but the provinces can and should help deliver climate change programs to meet Canada?s international obligations.
Provincial and territorial action on climate change is scattered, piecemeal and continues to be almost entirely absent in some places, research found. The report shows some provinces and territories (New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Yukon) have no climate change plans at all, others (B.C., Newfoundland, NWT) have weak and vague plans. The worst offenders (Saskatchewan and Alberta) continue allowing burgeoning emissions to grow wildly, with no plans for cutting them.
There are some reasons for hope: Manitoba, PEI and especially Quebec have responded to the challenge of climate change with plans and action. Quebec?s climate change plan is the best of all the provincial and territorial plans, with Manitoba a close second. The province has set a goal to reduce emissions in line with the Kyoto Protocol.
Other examples of progressive policies include:
? B.C.?s continuing commitment to protect agricultural land through the Agricultural Land Reserve.
? Quebec?s commitment to improve vehicle fuel efficiency standards, boost funding for public transit, and introduce a carbon tax.
? PEI?s commitment to having 15 per cent of the province?s power come from renewable energy.
? Manitoba?s target for large emission reductions, achieved partly by installing ground-source heat pumps.
? Ontario?s feed-in law, allowing small producers of renewable energy access to the grid and a guaranteed price.
?The federal government needs to set the standard,? Mr. Marshall says. ?Without that leadership and framework, the provinces will make little progress. If Ottawa leads, all the provinces and territories can learn from one another, adopt and adapt the most effective policies, and create cohesive, integrated climate change plans with firm emission reduction targets. That would prove that they are all taking their global responsibility seriously.?
Download the full report, All Over The Map, at http://www.davidsuzuki.org/Publications/Climate_Change_Reports/
For more information, contact:
Dale Marshall
Climate change policy analyst
David Suzuki Foundation
Cell: 613-302-9913
dmarshall@davidsuzuki.org
Justin Smallbridge
Communications specialist
David Suzuki Foundation
604-732-4228, ext. 237
jsmallbridge@davidsuzuki.org

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