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Head of Kyoto body questions Canada's new climate change plan

Head of Kyoto body questions Canada's new climate change plan

The head of the international body that oversees the Kyoto treaty said Monday that Canada's new climate change plan does not guarantee that greenhouse gas emissions will decrease.
Yvo de Boer, executive secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, criticized the Conservative government's plan to reduce emissions, which focuses on reducing the intensity of emissions rather than tough, overall curbs as other Kyoto signatories have done.
Intensity reduction allows industries to increase their greenhouse gas outputs as they raise production.
"You can still see a reduction in absolute terms, but you can't guarantee how much the reduction is going to be in absolute terms," de Boer said in an interview Monday from his office in Bonn, Germany.
"If you have a very stringent relative reduction target, but your economy grows by 30 percent, then your emissions could still end up going up."
Al Gore condemned Canada's new plan to reduce greenhouse gases on Saturday, saying it was "a complete and total fraud" because it lacks specifics and gives industry a way to actually increase emissions.
De Boer suggested there is some confusion over how Canada intends to live up to the Kyoto Protocol, which it signed in 1997. To date, no official has said the government is withdrawing from the treaty but the Kyoto targets have been abandoned. Kyoto requires 35 industrialized countries to cut greenhouse-gas emissions by 5 percent below 1990 levels by 2012.
The Conservatives have said meeting Kyoto targets would have created an economic disaster for the Canadian economy.
De Boer called Canada new plan "less ambitious."
Under the initiative announced last week, Canada aims to reduce the current level of greenhouse gas emissions 20 percent by 2020. But the government acknowledged it would not meet its obligations under Kyoto.
The country's emissions are now 30 percent above 1990 levels.
The Conservative government's strategy focuses both on reducing the intensity of emissions of gases blamed for global warming and improving air quality. But the plan failed to spell out what many of its regulations will look like.


Updated : 2021-05-18 14:06 GMT+08:00