Policy signal needed on greenhouse gas emissions

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An agency created to advise Canada's federal government on environmental issues has issued a report warning that industry needs to know how the country will tackle the issue of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reduction. "Canadians need a signal now, in particular to help the private sector make investment decisions that take GHG reductions into consideration," says Glen Murray, chair of the National Round Table on the Environment and the Economy (NRTEE). The previous Liberal government ratified the Kyoto Protocol, but the election of a new Conservative government in January 2006 cast doubt on whether Canada would follow through on its commitment. The new government has said it supports a "made-in-Canada" approach to clean air and emissions reduction that it plans to unveil this fall. In its report, the NRTEE argues Canada can make meaningful reductions in greenhouse gas emissions while at the same time increasing productivity and competitiveness, improving air quality and meet growing energy demands. Over the next 45 years, the report says, it can lower greenhouse gas emissions by as much as 60% from today's levels by emphasising energy efficiency, carbon sequestration and clean electricity generating technologies, particularly wind.

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