Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Provinces Have Patchwork of Climate Change Plans, Feds Lack Leadership:report: Climate Change Policy a Provincial Patchwork

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Provinces Have Patchwork of Climate Change Plans, Feds Lack Leadership:report: Climate Change Policy a Provincial Patchwork

Article excerpt

TORONTO - The federal government is failing to take the lead on climate change while the provinces are trying to tackle the issue with a patchwork of individual plans.

That's the analysis emerging from a report released by the David Suzuki Foundation Wednesday called "All Over the Map 2012."

The document ranks the country's provinces and territories on their climate change policies and makes recommendations for improvement.

Ontario, Quebec and British Columbia topped the list with "very good" policies which prioritized clean energy while Alberta and Saskatchewan were ranked the "worst."

"The report shows stronger leadership from the provinces is crucial given the lack of effort by the federal government on reducing global warming emissions," said Ian Bruce, a climate change and clean energy specialist with the foundation.

"The provinces have proven that not only can we make progress but we can actually improve our quality of life."

Bruce added that Canada could be a world leader if the federal government was an active collaborator in the fight against climate change.

"The federal government has been focusing more on exploitation of fossil fuels and has really missed out on opportunities to invest in cleaner, more innovative energy sources," he said.

The report was released as federal Environment Minister Peter Kent announced a new greenhouse-gas report showing emissions remained stable in 2010 even as the economy grew, suggesting the rebound from recession didn't come at the expense of the environment.

"We work very closely with the provinces and the territories," Kent said when asked to respond to criticism about the federal government not collaborating enough with the provinces on climate change.

"We work in the jurisdiction where we have authority, like the transportation sector, the auto industry."

The Suzuki Foundation, however, said the jurisdiction argument is moot as all major sources of emissions can be addressed through both federal and provincial policies.

Its report pointed out that provinces are responsible for natural resource management, electricity sectors and building codes while the federal government can regulate pollution and greenhouse gases which are considered toxic. …

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