The intention will be to synchronize Canadian regulations with those of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
That was the message from Rona Ambrose and the Federal Tories today. In summary, emissions will steadily increase until intensity based targets go into effect in 2010, at which point emissions will continue to increase as soaring oil and gas production wipes out whatever efficiency gains are actually put in place. No plan on decreasing smog nor greenhouse gases was given. Today's announcement instead promises to "seek" reductions, but not until after 2020.
The only surprise is that the Conservatives could not even deliver on their promise of smog reduction - an initiative their propaganda machine has been pumping since Harper became party leader. The "Made in Canada" plan does not offer so much as a target for smog until 2025, and succeeds only in accomplishing the Tories primary environmental goal - to ignore the Kyoto Protocol. Today's annoucement made no mention of the treaty.
In addition to the "results" highlighted above, the Conservatives made several pie in the sky promises for the distant future including actual decreases in CO2 starting in 2020, and a miraculous 45 to 65% reduction taking hold in 2050. No targets, plan or firm commitment to those goals were made, likely because the current Conservatives will be retired, or voted out office, and back in the oil pampered comfort of the Alberta high country while the rest of Canada pays the price for rising oceans and temperatures.
Despite the criticism above, today's announcement did promise strong action to curb emissions from motorcycles, outboard engines, and other irrelevant low impact engines. Strangely absent from these new restrictions on put-put toys were aggressive targets for whale oil lanterns and Bic lighters, though such action was not ruled out in their new "approach".
The best news from today actually has nothing to do with the environment. Now that the Conservatives have ended months of waiting and speculation by tabling their environmental vision, we can all get back to the more important business of discussing the proven ineptitude of this government and stop indulging their non-announcements with political breathing room.
You can read the complete bill here.