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 Post subject: Ottawa to focus on 'absolute' pollution targets: Prentice
PostPosted: December 3rd, 2009, 8:56 pm 
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Photograph by: Blair Gable, Reuters

By Mike De Souza, Canwest News Service December 3, 2009

OTTAWA — The Harper government signaled a change on Thursday in its approach to tackling climate change by focusing on absolute caps on pollution from industry.

Appearing at a parliamentary committee, Environment Minister Jim Prentice said the government's strategy would call for a national cap-and-trade system with "absolute caps" to put a price on carbon, under a harmonized structure with the United States.

"We are talking about a cap-and-trade system, a continental cap-and-trade system that involves absolute emission reductions, not intensity targets," said Prentice in response to a question from Bloc Quebecois MP Bernard Bigras.

Prentice said the government's climate change policies previously had called for "intensity targets" for pollution from industrial facilities that require reductions per unit of production and would allow businesses to meet targets while their emissions were increasing. For example, under an intensity system, an oil company would be required to meet a target per barrel of oil, and could therefore achieve targets by increasing production and reducing the rate of growth of their emissions.

But numerous experts from industry and governments suggested this would not be compatible with a proposed U.S. system based on absolute reductions in greenhouse gas emissions.

Prentice will participate in an international climate change summit that begins next week in Copenhagen where countries are attempting to reach a new political agreement to address rising greenhouse gas emissions that are believed to cause global warming.
© Copyright (c) Canwest News Service ... story.html

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