Manitoba Starts Consultation on Emissions, Eyes Framework of Western Climate Initiative

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VANCOUVER, B.C.--Manitoba is seeking public input on the use of a cap-and-trade system to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the Canadian province.

The province committed in 2009 to enacting legislation establishing a cap-and-trade system to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in Manitoba, subject to public consultations, Neil Cunningham, director of climate change for Manitoba, told BNA.

He said the province wants to hear from public, industrial, and other stakeholders during a consultation that runs to March 15.

“We want to look at all the opportunities and tools that are available to us,” Cunningham said.

In June 2007, Manitoba joined the Western Climate Initiative, established to identify, evaluate, and implement collective, cooperative ways to reduce greenhouse gases within a specified region.

Cunningham said the WCI cap-and-trade scheme provides a framework for a system for Manitoba.

Regional WCI partners focus on a market-based cap-and-trade system. The partners are Arizona, California, Montana, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, and Washington, and the Canadian provinces of British Columbia, Manitoba, Ontario, and Quebec.

“We think that as a province we can work with other subnational governments at reducing greenhouse gases,” Cunningham said.

The WCI's goal is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the region to 15 percent below 2015 levels, by 2020. When fully implemented in 2015, the WCI aims to cover nearly 90 percent of the region's emissions.

Environment Canada data estimates Manitoba's greenhouse gas emissions for 2008 at 21.9 million metric tons.

Less Than 3 Percent of Canada's Emissions.

The Manitoba government says with 3.6 percent of Canada's population, Manitoba contributed less than 3 percent of Canada's total emissions of 734 million metric tons.

Manitobans, on average, emit about 18.1 metric tons of greenhouse gases per person annually, lower than the Canadian per capita average of 22 metric tons.

Residents of Quebec have the lowest emissions per capita at 10.6 metric tons, while residents of Saskatchewan have the highest at 73.8 metric tons.

British Columbia already has begun consultations with the oil and gas industry and other industrial sectors to coincide with the Western Climate Initiative's release of Canada-specific methods proposed for the industry to account for and report their greenhouse gases (33 INER 1088, 11/10/10).

By Jeremy Hainsworth


More information on the Manitoba cap-and-trade consultation is available at http://www.gov.mb.ca/conservation/climate/capandtradeconsultation.html.

More information on the Western Climate Initiative is available at http://www.westernclimateinitiative.org/the-wci-cap-and-trade-program/program-design.