Press release

Budget Falls Short in Delivering Kyoto Commitments

March 22, 2004

Kyoto Protocol conspicuously absent in the 2004 Federal Budget

WINNIPEG — From the perspective of the Kyoto Protocol, the 2004 Federal Budget would have to be seen as a disappointment, says the International Institute for Sustainable Development.

The only additional funds for climate change related activities arise from the sale of Petro-Canada and the government is allocating $1 billion instead of $2 billion.

Of the $1 billion allocated, $200 million has been earmarked for Sustainable Development Technology Canada and the remaining $800 million is allocated to the development of new environmental technologies, which have yet to be identified.

While these may result in emission reductions in the long term, there is no assurance that these investments will actually result in reductions during the Kyoto commitment period of 2008-2012.

"I guess what the Throne Speech giveth – in the form of a renewed commitment to Kyoto – the budget taketh away," says John Drexhage, IISD's Climate Change and Energy Director.

"The Kyoto Protocol is not mentioned once in the budget and this may not be an accident, which is a worrisome sign."

Instead, the government is accelerating support for oil and gas development in the Arctic and offshore while there is no defined additional support for wind and other renewable energy technologies.

"The investment in the Sustainable Development Technology Canada is innovative and should help Canadians make the transition to a carbon-constrained future," Drexhage says. "But there must be an accounting system in place that tracks its effectiveness in actually delivering real emission reductions."

"We don't have much time to move on climate change issues, and this budget does little to reassure Canadians that this government is serious about meeting its Kyoto commitments," Drexhage adds.

About IISD

The International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) is an award-winning independent think tank working to accelerate solutions for a stable climate, sustainable resource management, and fair economies. Our work inspires better decisions and sparks meaningful action to help people and the planet thrive. We shine a light on what can be achieved when governments, businesses, non-profits, and communities come together. IISD’s staff of more than 250 experts come from across the globe and from many disciplines. With offices in Winnipeg, Geneva, Ottawa, and Toronto, our work affects lives in nearly 100 countries.