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Friends of the Earth Canada releases “Plug and Play” model regulation to help Canada reduce greenhouse gas pollution

Wednesday, December 7th 2011 5:26:12pm

For immediate release

Friends of the Earth donates its services to help Canada in its time of embarrassment

(Ottawa, December 8, 2011) With Canada's international environmental reputation at rock bottom at the Durban climate negotiations, Friends of the Earth Canada has decided to donate its services to help Canada.  

"Canada's Minister of the Environment showing up in Durban without domestic regulations in place is shocking," said Beatrice Olivastri, CEO, Friends of the Earth Canada.  "So we've prepared a model regulation, Reduction of Releases of Toxic Substances Causing Global Warming, that mirrors exactly what our government needs to finally regulate greenhouse gas pollution from the largest emitters in Canada."

Friends of the Earth has provided an efficient, actionable model regulation in exactly the format needed to plug it into the regulatory process. The model regulation targets reporting factories and plants to the National Greenhouse Gas Emission Inventory because they operate stationary facilities which are the largest emitters of carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxides, sulphur hexafluoride, hydrofluorocarbons and perfluorocarbons.  The required reductions would be accomplished in stages and based on data reported by the approximately 800 emitters themselves.

In Copenhagen, Canada lowered its commitment to a target of 17% of greenhouse gases by 2020 using a 2005 baseline. The model regulation, Reduction of Releases of Toxic Substances Causing Global Warming, shows the government how to meet this target and schedule using mandatory information reported by factories and facilities in Canada since 2004.

While Friends of the Earth believes dramatic emission reductions are necessary to save the world from catastrophic warming, it is pragmatic about what is possible today in Canada. "Some businesses may be ready to meet these minimalistic targets," said Olivastri, "but none are going to do even this until regulations are put in place. It is appalling that Canada doesn't have these rules in place."

The Notice of Intent and the model regulation, Reduction of Releases of Toxic Substances causing Global Warming Regulation can be viewed at www.foecanada.org.

In Canada, regulations are a form of law with binding legal effect.  The first steps in Canada’s regulatory process are developing a regulatory proposal for an enabling Act, review by the central agency and pre-publication.

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For further information, contact:
Beatrice Olivastri, CEO, Friends of the Earth 613 241-0085x26 or 613 724-8690

Friends of the Earth Canada is the Canadian member of Friends of the Earth International, the world’s largest grassroots environmental network campaigning on today’s most urgent environmental and social issues.



Backgrounder - December 8, 2011

The model regulation Reduction of Releases of Toxic Substances Causing Global Warming issued by Friends of the Earth (Canada) has these advantages:

- it is "Plug and Play", written in a format that can be immediately used;
- it is direct;
- it targets the greenhouse gases identified in the Kyoto Protocol - carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxides, sulphur hexafluoride, hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) and perfluorocarbons (PFCs);
- it is fully consistent with - and will achieve - the reductions committed to by the Government of Canada at the Copenhagen and Cancún meetings of the parties to the Kyoto Protocol - namely 17% from 2005 levels, by December 31, 2021;
- it is based on data provided by the companies that report to the National Greenhouse Gas Emissions Inventory;
- therefore, it targets those companies whose facilities are considered by the Government of Canada to be the highest emitters of greenhouse gases;
- it phases in, at three levels, the reductions from December 31, 2014 to December 31, 2021, so that the regulated companies can space out their costs to achieve the 17% reduction from 2005 levels by December 31, 2021;
- it requires the regulated companies to install continuous emissions monitoring systems of their choice for carbon dioxide and nitrous oxide, provided that the systems meet performance criteria for precision and accuracy to be set by the scientific experts of Environment Canada;
- it leaves to those companies the choice of technology to achieve the required reductions;
- it covers reductions of greenhouse gases in the various types of emissions by those companies - e.g. emissions from stationary combustion emissions, from industrial processes, etc.; and
- it requires the regulated companies to report their achieved reductions only three times - no later than February 28, 2015, February 28, 2018, February 28, 2022 - hence keeping reporting to the minimum that would allow the Government of Canada to track progress by the regulated companies.

The model regulation Reduction of Releases of Toxic Substances Causing Global Warming leaves to the scientific experts of Environment Canada the selection or development of methods of calculation for the greenhouse gases.

Friends of the Earth Canada believes that applying this Model Regulation is the essential step that Canada must take, at the federal level, to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and meet its lowered public commitments stated at the Copenhagen and Cancún meetings of the parties to the Kyoto Protocol.

Note: The model regulation does not address emission reduction by new facilities.