Speaking at a Calgary Chamber of Commerce event last week, Federal Environment Minister and Calgary Centre-North MP Jim Prentice once again reiterated that Canada will not go forward with a cap-and-trade system on its own.
Commenting on the fading prospects that that a cap-and-trade law will emerge from the from the US Congress Prentice stated that:
The Canadian market is not large enough, and when we harmonize climate, environment and energy policies, we do not intend to bring in a policy of cap-and-trade in circumstances where the U.S. does not.
The Minister related his belief that cap-and-trade is unlikely to be part of any energy or climate bill that might be passed before November. He suggested that the regulatory route is increasingly the one Ottawa will take as it tries to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 17% below 2005 level by 2020 in order to meet Canada’s commitments under the Copenhagen Agreement.
The Government of Canada is clearly moving ahead with a regulatory approach, dealing with the transportation sector, which is 27% of Canada’s emissions...The electricity sector is another 19%, so, essentially, in Canada we (now) have close to 50% of our emissions in regulatory harness.
Canada’s Ambassador to the U.S. and former Manitoba premier Gary Doer reflected on the situation in the U.S. and the uncertainty that it creates for Canada. He speculated that it is likely that some form of energy law will emerge from congress in the near future, and that any Environmental Protection Agency climate change regulation will likely end up before the Supreme Court. Doer remained clear on one point however, that Canada will continue to object to the imposition of any border measures by the U.S that may affect Canada’s energy flow to the U.S., given our clear intent to harmonize climate change policies:
We're saying, don't introduce any border measures against a country like Canada that is committed to the same reduction targets that you are...Don't take border measures against Canada's energy when we have a harmonized reduction target that was agreed to in Copenhagen and signed by the prime minister and environment minister...Countries like Canada that have signed on to the same agreement should not have artificial border measures that (represent) a Trojan horse for the issue of trade and access to Canadian energy.