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Posted on Sustainabilitank.info on August 20th, 2010
by Pincas Jawetz (pj@sustainabilitank.info)

A new paper released by the Canadian International Council asserts that while Canada may need to wait for the United States before deciding on a carbon pricing system, that should not stop it from exploring other initiatives to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Climate Change and Foreign Policy in Canada: Intersection and Influence, written by John Drexhage and Deborah Murphy of the International Institute for Sustainable Development’s climate change and energy program, argues that the Copenhagen Accord has the potential to develop a solid foundation and framework to help countries begin to respond effectively to climate change.

The Canadian government must determine what it wants in terms of a climate and energy regulatory regime; work with the provinces and stakeholders to identify the best way of going forward in Canada; and ensure that this plan would complement US actions and legislation.

The authors recommend the following actions to strengthen Canadian climate change policy:

• A First Ministers’ Meeting to address Canadian energy and climate change policy, and Canada’s profile in the North American energy picture.

• The federal government should develop a credible and comprehensive plan that lays out how Canada intends to meet its target of a 17-percent emissions reduction below 2005 levels by 2020.

• Canada should increase support for adaptation strategies and activities at home in the Arctic and in developing countries through bilateral and multilateral assistance.

• Canada’s $400-million contribution under the Copenhagen Accord should create opportunities for bilateral project assistance, including “signature” projects that can be identified with Canada and led by Canadians.

Climate Change and Foreign Policy in Canada: Intersection and Influence can be accessed online at www.onlinecic.org/ .

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