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OTTAWA — The Honourable Joe Oliver, Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources, and the Honourable Peter Kent, Canada’s Minister of the Environment, today issued a statement on the International Energy Agency’s (IEA) World Energy Outlook report on energy and climate change:
“Today’s report highlights the urgent need to address the global issue of climate change, and Canada is doing its part. This report proposes measures in four key areas:
- Adopting specific energy efficiency measures;
- Limiting the construction and use of the least-efficient coal-fired power plants;
- Minimizing methane emissions from upstream oil and gas production; and
- Accelerating the partial phase-out of subsidies to fossil fuel consumption.
“Canada has already taken significant action in each of these areas and has demonstrated particular global leadership in energy efficiency and phasing out traditional coal-fired electricity. In fact, our electricity supply is one of the cleanest on Earth, with more than 77 percent from non-emitting sources.
“The IEA recently ranked Canada second only to Germany in energy efficiency improvement among 16 countries between 1990 and 2008. Support from the Canadian government has resulted in some 640,000 Canadian households benefiting from over $934 million in grants to make their homes more energy-efficient.
“Canada has invested substantially in energy efficiency initiatives — including minimum standards for over 40 products; regulations to improve fuel efficiency for passenger automobiles, light trucks and heavy-duty vehicles and engines; and more stringent energy codes for buildings.
“Coal remains the single largest source of GHG emissions in the world, and Canada became the first country in the world to ban the construction of new coal-fired power plants that use traditional technology. Canada requires such plants to shut down on a schedule that reflects their economic life. These regulations alone will eliminate some 214 megatonnes of emissions by 2030.
“Canada is at the forefront of responsible crude production and represents a reliable source to fulfil countries’ oil needs. The World Bank has adopted a made-in-Canada venting and flaring model for its Global Gas Flaring Reduction Program, and Canada became the first country to implement a plan under its auspices. Moreover, Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions from this source have decreased by 11 percent between 2005 and 2011.
“Our government has also taken action to phase out inefficient fossil fuel subsidies, including certain tax preferences for oil sands producers, as well as the Atlantic Investment Tax Credit for investments in the oil and gas and mining sectors. In 2013, Canada’s Commissioner for the Environment and Sustainable Development noted that Canada’s government is moving in the right direction on this issue, from both a tax management and an environmental policy perspective.
“Finally, the IEA report identifies carbon capture and storage (CCS) — where Canada is recognized by the IEA as a global leader — as a key area to help meet GHG reduction targets. For example, our support for SaskPower’s Boundary Dam Integrated Carbon Capture and Storage Demonstration Project has created the first truly commercial-scale CCS project of its kind for coal-fired electricity.
“While Canada has one of the cleanest energy mixes of any country in the world, and demonstrates its commitment to introducing tangible measures that reduce emissions, we know that more needs to be done. That is why we are currently developing regulations for the oil and gas sector that will make Canada one of the few major oil exporters in the world to apply GHG reductions to its production.
“As a result of our action to date, Canada is already halfway toward closing the gap to meet our Copenhagen target. Canada stands firm on its 2020 goal of reducing GHG emissions by 17 percent from 2005 levels.”
Office of Canada's Minister of
Natural Resources Canada
Mary Ann Dewey-Plante
Director of Communications
Office of the Minister of the Environment