Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Liberal Plan To Cut Greenhouse Emissions a Dud: Researchers

By DENNIS BUECKERT

OTTAWA (CP) - The Liberals' $12-billion plan to implement the Kyoto Protocol over seven years would have been largely ineffective, says an as-yet unpublished report by the C.D. Howe Institute.

The report, marked "do not cite or circulate," was written before the current government axed Project Green, as the plan was dubbed, and may have been a factor in the Conservatives' decision to scrap it.

Project Green largely relied on voluntary measures and incentives which have been shown not to work, says the study, which sarcastically calls the package "Project Dream."

"This policy approach will fail dramatically to meet national objectives and yet will entail a substantial cost," says the report, whose lead author is Mark Jaccard of Simon Fraser University.

The study was written in April and obtained by The Canadian Press on the weekend. It is finally expected to be made public this week.

The report says Project Green would have cost $12 billion by 2012, with much of that money being spent outside Canada.

It would have reduced emissions by 175 megatonnes compared with a business-as-usual scenario, far short of the 230 to 300 Mt. reduction required to meet Canada's Kyoto target.

Efforts like the One Tonne Challenge advertising campaign, which urged individuals to reduce their own greenhouse emissions through lifestyle changes, have "negligible effect," says the study.

"The policy approach of Canada since 1990 and continued with Project Green is clearly ineffective in causing the disconnection of GHG (greenhouse gas) emissions from the economic output that must take place if these emissions are to be reduced and their atmospheric concentrations stabilized at low risk levels."

Canada's domestic emissions remain on a path that would miss its Kyoto target by at least 270 Mt. in 2010, equivalent to almost a 30 per cent emissions gap, the study says.

"Indeed, the policy approach epitomized by Project Green allows emissions to continue to grow at close to their BAU (business-as-usual) rate."

Prime Minister Stephen Harper could use the report to buttress his claims about the ineffectiveness of the Liberal plan, but he probably won't like the alternatives it recommends.

The most effective policy would likely be a gradually rising tax on greenhouse gas emissions, combined with reductions in other taxes to ensure no net tax increase, says the report.

The main Conservative response to climate change so far has been to make transit passes tax deductible, which experts say will have little effect on emissions.

My Comments - We all knew this was coming, the liberals did nothing on this file, actually emissions went up by 35% inthe last 10 years, so the liberals have no credibility when it comes to saying they are an environmentally sensitive party. they signed onto Kyoto without consulting the provinces, this has just become another gun registry.

The last time I looked, the Sydney tar ponds are still there, and Paul Martin's company CSL is being investigated by DFO for dumping heavy metals in the Great Lakes - this sure ain't Mike Pearson's liberal party, more like a bunch of mafia bagmen.

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