Kyoto job cuts may hit 450,000

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OTTAWA, Ont. — Fleets already worried by waning freight volumes won’t like the latest report from an association of Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters (CME).

The group estimates the Kyoto Protocol would wipe out 450,000 manufacturing jobs in Canada, cost the economy up to $40-billion and force a radical lifestyle change on all Canadians.

Yesterday’s release of the 20-page report — Pain Without Gain: Canada and the Kyoto Protocol — closely followed Jean Chretien’s confirmation of his government’s intention to ratify the international agreement to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. This was despite the fact David Anderson, the Environment Minister, acknowledged the government has yet to forecast the economic impact of the treaty.

A study, released by Alberta, pegs the costs of the agreement at $25- to $40-billion for the Canadian economy, while the federal government states Kyoto will only mean a hit of $500-million annually to potential economic growth.

Ralph Klein, the Alberta Premier, remains concerned about the lack of solid information concerning the true cost and the lack of clarity from Ottawa on how best to implement it.

“The only thing we know for sure is there is some evidence to indicate that CO2 in particular, and perhaps other gases, contributes to the greenhouse phenomenon or global warming. And that industry in this province and across the country have made their best efforts to reduce those emissions,” asserts Klein.

“Well, Jesus, you know, (maybe) we’ll quit breathing. If everybody quit breathing can you imagine how much carbon dioxide we could avoid sending into the atmosphere?”

The U.S. has proposed a less stringent approach to climate change using tax incentives and investment to spur a technological solution to greenhouse gas emissions.

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