Manitoba and British Columbia set fixed limits to greenhouse gas emissions
April 18, 2008
By Canadian Consulting Engineer
Two of Canada's provinces have committed to making firm reductions in their greenhouse gas emissions. On April 10, ...
Two of Canada’s provinces have committed to making firm reductions in their greenhouse gas emissions. On April 10, Manitoba announced it would be the first jurisdiction in North America to propose legislation that will bind it to meeting the Kyoto Protocol emission targets.
Premier Gary Doer announced that a new law would require Manitoba to meet its Kyoto commitment by 2012 and set long term goals for further greenhouse gas reductions by 2020 and 2025.
To meet those goals, Manitoba has to reduce its annual emissions to 17 megatonnes from 20 megatonnes now. The government says it will set aside $145 million over four years to invest in concrete strategies to help achieve these reduction goals. The strategies include a new tax on coal emissions and action to close down large emitters such as Manitoba Hydro’s coal-fired electricity plant in Brandon, as well as continued support for clean energy generation such as hydro, wind and geothermal. It will also support capturing methane in large landfills (particularly the Brady Landfill in Winnipeg). On the transportation side, Manitoba’s government says it will legally enshrine its commitment to provide 50/50 funding for public transit’s net operating costs.
British Columbia’s government, meanwhile, has introduced the Greenhouse Gas Reduction (Cap and Trade) Act. The legislation will be the first in Canada to authorize hard caps on greenhouse gas emissions. The government will establish the cap for designated large emitters, and issue tradeable compliance units for certain periods of time. Those companies who reduce their emissions more efficiently can sell their surplus units to those who are less efficient.
Both British Columbia and Manitoba signed on to the Western Climate Initiative in the spring of 2007. The initiative includes seven western U.S. states (California, Oregon, Washington, New Mexico, Arizona, Utah and Montana) as well as B.C. and Manitoba. They are working to set in place a cap and trade emissions system by August 2008.