NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis


May 5, 2006

Canada's Conservative government slashed funds for environmental programs designed to cut greenhouse gas emissions, a move that critics says gutted support for the Kyoto accord on global warming.

Environmental groups say Canada, one of the early signatories and a high-profile proponent of the 1997 pact, is now in line with the Bush administration, which has dismissed the international agreement and expressed doubts about humans' contributions to climate change.

These changes include:

  • Omitting about $3.2 billion already allocated for environmental programs through 2010 to pay municipalities and businesses to reduce emissions of carbon dioxide.
  • Cutting a much publicized plan that encouraged individual conservation efforts.
  • Developing a new "made-in-Canada" program to reduce smog and offering a tax credit to encourage public transit use.

Canada, which has long clung to its "green" image, hosted early work that led to the Kyoto Protocol, in which 163 countries and regional organizations pledged to meet quotas to reduce carbon dioxide emissions.

But the administration notes that despite Canada's vocal support for Kyoto in the past, its greenhouse emissions have risen by 24 percent since 1990, leading Prime Minister Stephen Harper's environmental minister, Rona Ambrose, to declare meeting the goals "impossible."

Source: Doug Struck, "Canada Alters Course on Kyoto," Washington Post, May 3, 2006

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