Debate rages on over Canada's Clear Air Act

In the weeks leading up to this year's Canadian Wind Energy Association (CanWEA) conference, debate raged over the federal government's new Clean Air Act, which calls for three years of consultation with industry before setting "intensity targets" that would require companies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions per unit of production starting in 2010. Fixed caps on emissions will not be in place until at least 2020, leading to proposed reductions of 45-65% by 2050. The wind industry lobbied hard to ensure wind offsets were included in the previous government's planned emissions trading system, CanWEA president Robert Hornung told the conference. The new plan means more delay and uncertainty. "We're still going to have a system like that, but it is likely further in the future now and it is likely we are going to have to fight that battle all over again." The low sense of urgency over climate change affects the perception of the Canadian market as place to do business, delegates heard. Canada's approval of the Kyoto Protocol, gave Vestas "significantly higher confidence in the long term stability of the market regardless of short term initiatives," said Doug Duimering, Vestas' local sales manager. "Certainly when you go away from that, the reverse is also true."

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