Press release

Climate commitments aplenty, but where's the Kyoto plan?

February 24, 2005

Budget funds climate change action, but Kyoto Protocol doesn't seem to be part of the equation.

WINNIPEG — The first budget from the Liberal minority government may send out a strong signal that Canadians and industry will be rewarded by pursuing cleaner, more climate friendly modes of development, but it seems to have ignored the fact these initiatives are a response to our Kyoto Protocol obligations.

"It is curious that in the Minister's entire speech, the word 'Kyoto' is not mentioned once. It is, after all, the Kyoto Protocol coming into force that has precipitated a relatively strong response in this budget," said John Drexhage, IISD's Director of Climate Change and Energy.

"More details, particularly on the reduction policies for large industry, such as utilities, and the auto sector, are still needed before we have a comprehensive plan in place. We need to continue to press Minister Dion to make sure that he delivers on his promise to have a full plan in place within a month. We also need to know a bit more about how all these new programs will operate, and most importantly, how we can ensure that they deliver the required reductions in time for Kyoto. Little time is at hand before 2008, when our Kyoto commitments begin," said Drexhage.

IISD recognizes the important role new programmes like the new 1 billion dollar Clean Fund, the 250 million dollar Partnership Fund, and the Renewable Power Production Incentive will play in creating new jobs, encouraging innovation and producing domestic emission reductions. The government's promised expansion of the Renewable Power Production Incentive, quadrupling of the Energuide home energy retrofit and wind energy incentive programs and the allocation of 250 million dollars to the Sustainable Energy Science and Technology Strategy to foster the development of new emission reducing technologies are all positive signs of an increased federal commitment to addressing climate change.

"The government has put a lot of money into the types of things we wanted them to, so I am happy to give two and half cheers for Minister Goodale's efforts," said David Runnalls, IISD President and CEO.

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.