Canada premiers commit to add 25,000 MW of renewable energy

The premiers of Canada’s 10 provinces and three territories have agreed to produce collectively an additional 25,000 MW by 2020 from renewable sources such as hydro, tidal, wind, and solar power.

The premiers made the commitment Aug. 10, during the Council of the Federation’s 2007 summer meeting. They also agreed to implement energy conservation strategies and to reduce greenhouse gas emissions within their jurisdictions, according to each province’s and territory’s plan for climate change.

The premiers agreed to develop consistent and verifiable measurement of greenhouse gas emissions by starting a national greenhouse gas emissions registry. However, they failed to agree to a firm emissions reduction strategy sought by some.

Ontario, Canada’s most populous province, along with Manitoba, British Columbia, and Quebec had backed a cap-and-trade system in which emitters would have to buy credits if they produced more greenhouse gases than allowed. However, big oil-producing provinces Alberta and Newfoundland opposed the measure.

The Council of the Federation plans to conduct a conference in early 2008 on adaptation to climate change. In recognition of the importance of climate change, the premiers also decided to make climate change a central agenda item in council meetings.

At the summer meeting, the council also released a publication, �Climate Change: Leading Practices by Provincial and Territorial Governments in Canada,� setting out a range of actions aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions and addressing the effects of climate change. The document lists agencies, plans, activities, programs, and other initiatives being undertaken by provincial and territorial governments. The report can be obtained from the council’s Internet site, www.councilofthefederation.ca.

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