Press release

IISD Endorses Canadian Carbon Principles

October 23, 2003

WINNIPEG — The International Emissions Trading Association's (IETA) Canadian Working Group on the Carbon Market, which includes IISD, has agreed, togther with the government of Canada, to a set of principles for the design and functioning of a market for greenhouse gas emission compliance instruments in Canada.

The principles, signed by the Honorable Herb Dhaliwal, Minister of Natural Resources Canada, and Bob Page, Chairman of IETA and Vice President, Sustainable Development, TransAlta Corp., and a member of IISD's Board of Directors, bring Canada a step closer to developing a functioning carbon market.

IISD's corporate partners in this initiative include Alcan, B.C. Hydro, BP, Climate Change Central,, Conoco Phillips, Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg LLP, Dofasco, DuPont, ICF, Lafarge, MacLeod Dixon, Natsource, Noranda Falconbridge, Ontario Power Generation, Petro Canada, Shell, Suncor, The Royal Bank of Canada and TransAlta.

"We're pleased to be part of this group. It's vital that Canadian industry and government can work together to address the climate change issue," said John Drexhage, IISD's Director of Climate Change and Energy. "These shared principles are just a first step, though. The implementation of an effective domestic emissions trading system will require a great deal of effort and commitment."

The 12 Principles for the Canadian Carbon Market include sustainability, innovation, the role of price signals, international consistency, certainty and transparency.

The domestic emissions trading system will be one of the important tools available to large final emitters, such as power, oil and gas and certain manufacturing industries, in meeting the reduction of 55 million tonnes of GHG emissions under the Government of Canada's Climate Change Plan for Canada. A domestic emissions trading system promises to help meet Canada's Kyoto targets to reduce GHG emissions by six per cent from 1990 levels by the period 2008 to 2012. The Kyoto Protocol was ratified by Canada on December 17, 2002.

A domestic emissions trading system is one of the mechanisms providing industry with flexible options for meeting GHG targets in an economically efficient manner by promoting price discovery, rewarding innovation, supporting the competitiveness of Canadian industry and providing incentives for the development of low-emissions technologies. Designing an effective and efficient domestic emissions trading system is therefore an important element in efforts to balance climate change commitments and a healthy economy.

The Principles for the Canadian Carbon Market are available online at

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.