EDMONTON, Alta. — Reports that the Ontario auto assembly industry will be exempt from the Kyoto Protocol aren’t sitting well in Alberta.
Halvar Jonson, chairman of Alberta’s Ministerial Task Force on Kyoto, responded to the report over the weekend, saying an exemption for the auto industry would be unfair if no such exemption is given to the energy sector.
“We can understand why the federal government has exempted auto assembly plants from large industrial emission targets as they are considered low intensity emitters,” says Jonson. “However, the overall automotive industry still has targets that must be achieved under Kyoto. The auto industry is negotiating with the federal government, just as Alberta’s energy sector is discussing a feasible implementation plan for its industry.”
Jonson goes on to say the lack of a coordinated plan by Ottawa is a real problem.
“Today’s media report is yet another example of the confusion being generated by the federal government’s ratification of the Kyoto Protocol without a plan,” he says. “We have said all along that the federal government should work with the provinces and industry to develop a realistic made-in-Canada plan for reducing greenhouse gas emissions that is fair to all parts of the country.”
Jonson adds that Albertans will not tolerate any sector or region being exempt of the Kyoto Protocol at the expense of another area.
“This kind of potential politicization of climate change strategies is just what Alberta has been concerned about,” he says.
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