Vive Le Canada

Future of Kyoto cash, climate plan in doubt
Date: Monday, January 30 2006
Topic:


Conservatives' greenhouse-gas policy vague

Officials say much of the strategy
is `up for review'

Jan. 27, 2006. 01:00 AM
PETER GORRIE
STAFF REPORTER

Stephen Harper's government will give Ontario $538 million that the Liberals pledged last year to help comply with the Kyoto Protocol.

However, the Conservatives might insist the money be spent on something else.

That's just one of many ways in which Canada's climate change plan is as up in the air as the greenhouse gases it's supposed to reduce.

The prime minister-designate isn't expected to pull Canada out of the protocol, which remains popular with voters, especially in Quebec.

But virtually every part of the five-year, $10 billion climate-change plan announced with great fanfare last April is "up for review," officials say.

The final outcome isn't clear. For the time being, industry people say, it's business as usual: The Conservative policy is still vague but, to the extent it can be deciphered, much seems similar to the Liberals' plan.

But there are major differences, too. So, what the incoming government decides could have a big impact in the province and on the international effort to curb the build-up of heat-trapping gases in the atmosphere.

The election result "is not a positive development," says Bill Hare, of Greenpeace International. "How serious it is will take some time to tell."

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[Proofreader's note: this article was edited for spelling and typos on January 30, 2006]

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