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International Actions Theme

1a) CAA Theme

International Actions

1b) Program Name

International Participation/Negotiations in Climate Change sub-component of International Climate Change Participation/Negotiations

2.  Linkage to the 2011/12 departmental Program Activity Architecture

Sub-Activity 1.1.7 - Domestic and International Energy Policy

3a)  Program Description

As part of the Government of Canada’s approach to international climate change, NRCan contributes to the International Participation/Negotiations in Climate Change and on Forest Carbon Policy and Monitoring (for more information on Forest Carbon Policy and Monitoring, see sub-activity 1.1.2 of NRCan’s 2011-12 PAA).  NRCan’s work under International Participation/Negotiations in Climate Change (under sub-activity 1.1.7) is focused on climate technology, clean energy and other climate change-related issues.

3b) Expected Achievements

NRCan's activities under this program support Canada’s whole-of-government approach to international climate change and are key to program delivery.  In 2011-12, expected achievements for the program included:

  • Representing Canada in key international fora related to climate change and clean energy, including on carbon capture and storage (CCS), to advance Canadian technology and clean energy priorities;
  • Conducting policy research and analysis in support of the development of Canadian policies and positions on climate technology and other climate change issues, and
  • Providing expertise and strategic policy advice on key climate technology and clean energy-related issues.

These expected achievements for 2011-12 are aligned with the achievements expected to be met over the length of the Clean Air Agenda. These include the advancement of Canadian technology and clean energy priorities through a range of high-level international fora (including, but not limited to, technology negotiations under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)), the provision of strategic policy advice and analysis to Government of Canada decision makers, and supporting the development of policies and positions on climate technology and other climate change issues that are aligned with Canada’s interests. 

4.  Program Achievements / Performance Summary

In 2011-12, NRCan program activities ensured that departmental and broader Government of Canada interests were represented and advanced in international climate change and clean energy-related fora.  For instance, NRCan led for the Government of Canada on international technology negotiations under the UNFCCC and in the U.S.-led Clean Energy Ministerial (CEM). In representing Canada in the CEM, NRCan profiled Canada as a leader in clean energy and worked collaboratively with major economies to advance objectives on clean energy and technology.  NRCan also represented the Government of Canada in international fora and initiatives for collaborating, knowledge sharing, and capacity building related to CCS, including the Carbon Sequestration Leadership Forum, the Carbon Capture and Utilisation and Storage Action Group under the CEM, the Global CCS Institute, and APEC's Expert Group on Clean Fossil Energy.  Furthermore, NRCan worked to facilitate Canadian engagement in international partnerships that leverage private sector investment in clean energy projects in developing countries.

Also in 2011-12, NRCan conducted research and analysis to support the development of Canadian positions on technology and other climate change issues under the UNFCCC. Furthermore, NRCan generated timely, strategic policy advice and expertise on key international issues related to clean energy and climate technology.  For example, in preparation for the third CEM in April 2012, NRCan advised on a number of energy-related issues and identified synergies between clean energy capacity-building activities in the CEM and other fora.

These program achievements support key outcomes for Canada’s approach to international climate change, including the advancement of Canadian climate change and clean energy objectives.

5.  Program Lessons Learned

In 2011-12, NRCan’s activities continued to contribute to the advancement of Canada’s climate change objectives.  To minimize the risk that workload exceeded human resource and capacity levels, efforts were made to promote an efficient and effective negotiations process and focus on key deliverables that could be achieved.  In addition, efforts were made to build capacity within NRCan’s team.  NRCan also worked collaboratively with key interdepartmental partners to maintain lines of communication, collaborate and capitalize on respective areas of expertise, when appropriate.    

6.  Financial Information (excluding PWGSC accommodation costs) ($ million)

Total funding for the program approved under the CAA (2011-2016): $5.55

Planned spending for International Participation/Negotiations in Climate Change in 2011-12: $1.11

Actual spending for International Participation/Negotiations in Climate Change in 2011-12: $1.13


1a) CAA Theme

International Actions

1b) Program Name

Forest carbon policy and monitoring sub-component of International Climate Change Participation/Negotiations

2.  Linkage to the 2011/12 departmental Program Activity Architecture

Sub-Activity 1.1.2 - Forest Products Market Access and Development

3a)  Program Description

The program supports Canada’s approach to international climate change through the provision of analysis and advice on forest-related issues. Over the length of the CAA it will provide policy support on forest carbon issues through: development of international climate change negotiating positions related to land use, land-use change and forestry (LULUCF) and reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD+); representing Canada in international negotiations to ensure the positions are reflected in agreements; and assessing the contribution that Canada’s forests can make to achieving GHG emission reduction targets. As well, the program will undertake forest carbon monitoring to annually measure and report on Canada’s forest-related carbon stock changes and greenhouse gas emissions to fulfill mandatory UN reporting requirements.

3b) Expected Achievements

Expected achievements in 2011-12 were

  • Progress in the international climate change negotiations through agreements that reflect Canada’s positions on LULUCF and REDD+.
  • Development of estimates of the potential of Canada forests to contribute to emissions reduction targets.
  • Further development and use of the National Forest Carbon Monitoring, Accounting and Reporting System to produce forest-related estimates for reporting in Canada’s 2012 GHG National Inventory Report.       

4.  Program Achievements / Performance Summary

The expected 2011-12 program achievements were realized:

  • After several years of negotiations on LULUCF issues, Canada’s positions were reflected in an agreement at the Durban climate change conference. As well, Canada’s positions on REDD+ issues were reflected in agreements at the conference. 
  • An initial assessment of the potential and cost of forest management strategies to reduce emissions and increase removals was developed including the application of an improved framework for assessing emissions associated with carbon stored in harvested wood products. The assessment was completed through work with provincial and territorial representatives on the National Forest Sinks Committee.
  • Updated forest-related estimates were produced and included in Canada’s 2012 National Inventory Report.

These achievements contribute to the Theme outcomes of advancement of Canadian objectives in international negotiations, compliance with reporting obligations, and engagement of key domestic stakeholders.

5.  Program Lessons Learned

Lessons learned:

  • Program achievements are enhanced by maintenance of collaborative relationships with provincial and territorial governments through the National Forest Sinks Committee. Engagement with them ensures information and data are available for the National Forest Carbon Monitoring, Accounting and Reporting System, and ensures that they participate in and support assessments of forest management strategies for climate change mitigation. Collaborative relationships with Environment Canada and Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada also are necessary for production of forest-related information for the GHG National Inventory Report.
  • Program achievements are enhanced through on-going science-policy dialogue and integration so that scientific understanding can inform development of negotiation positions, and so that analysis of mitigation can encompass biophysical, economic and other considerations.

6.  Financial Information (excluding PWGSC accommodation costs) ($ million)

Total funding for Forest Carbon Policy and Monitoring approved under the CAA (2011-2016): $9.90

Planned spending for Forest Carbon Policy and Monitoring in 2011-12:  $1.98

Actual spending for Forest Carbon Policy and Monitoring in 2011-12: $1.85


1a) CAA Theme

International Actions Theme

1b) Program Name

Continued Engagement and Alignment with the U.S. (i.e. U.S.-Canada Clean Energy Dialogue (CED))

2.  Linkage to the 2011/12 departmental Program Activity Architecture

Sub-Activity 1.1.7 - Domestic and international Energy Policy

3a)  Program Description

The U.S.-Canada Clean Energy Dialogue (CED) is a mechanism to support bilateral collaboration on clean energy technologies, to foster the transition to a lower carbon economy. Under the CED, NRCan leads three working groups:

  • The Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) working group focuses on technical collaboration on research, development and demonstration initiatives, dialogue on CCS policies and practices, and sharing best practices on CCS Communications and Public Engagement. 
  • The Electricity Grid working group focuses on advancing offshore renewable energy, smart grid technologies, power storage technologies and increasing opportunities for trade in clean electricity.
  • The Clean Energy R&D and Energy Efficiency working group focuses on the development of biofuels, advancing light-weight vehicles, strengthening ENERGY STAR labelling for equipment and appliances, accelerating the adoption of the new ISO 50001 Standard for Energy Management Systems in industry, and adapting a U.S. building benchmarking tool to the Canadian market to help encourage building improvements and the acceleration of the adoption of new ISO 50001 Standard for Energy Management Systems in industry.

3b) Expected Achievements

Expected achievement for 2011/12 focused on the development of an Action Plan for the second phase of the CED. 

4.  Program Achievements / Performance Summary

  •  In 2011/12, the primary achievement was the development of a U.S.-Canada Action Plan for the second phase of the CED.  The Action Plan confirms the commitment of both countries to continue to collaborate under the CED and describes the initiatives that the CED working groups plan to implement over the next two years.  The majority of the work in the development of the Action Plan was carried out in 2011/12; the Action Plan was announced in June 2012.
  • CED initiatives were also advanced in 2011/12, for example:
  • A study of marine renewable energy regulatory frameworks of several European countries was completed. 
  • Canada’s Smart Grid Repository, a web-based clearinghouse of information on smart grid projects and technologies in Canada, was launched. 
  • NRCan signed an agreement with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to adapt its Portfolio Manager Building Benchmarking tool for Canadian content in order to comparatively benchmark the energy use in commercial/institutional buildings and help encourage building improvements. 
  • Other ongoing joint initiatives were continued and information was shared between Canadian and U.S. researchers and policy makers in the areas of CCS, next generation biofuels and advanced transportation. 

Finally, key stakeholders, including provinces/territories, industry and the research community, were engaged in CED initiatives and the development of the CED Action Plan II.

These achievements support key outcomes for Canada’s approach to international climate change, including the advancement of Canadian clean energy objectives through increased or sustained cooperation with the U.S. on clean energy.

5.  Program Lessons Learned

  • In February 2011, an evaluation of the CED suggested that the Government consider ways to enhance the engagement of provinces on the CED. In February 2012, NRCan shared a draft of the CED Action Plan for Phase II with provinces for comments. Three provinces provided comments and all comments received were considered.  Provinces will be engaged in the implementation of Phase II initiatives.
  • The evaluation also suggested that linkages between the CED and existing funding mechanisms be explored. In 2011/12, funds from NRCan’s ecoENERGY II funding renewal were used by NRCan to fund the energy efficiency work under the CED.

6. Financial Information (excluding PWGSC accommodation costs) ($ million)

Total funding for Program approved under the CAA (2011-2016): $5.74
Program’s planned spending in 2011-2012: $1.15
Program’s actual spending in 2011-2012: $1.11

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