1.1 There is broad agreement in Canada, among all levels of government as well as business leaders and the public, that the health and well being of future generations requires that Canadians act now to address climate change. The main issue of debate has been whether or not this should be done in the context of the Kyoto Protocol.
1.2 The Government of Canada believes that Canada should support the Kyoto Protocol because it provides the most effective way presently available to achieve real progress. While the Kyoto Protocol does not constitute the full and final answer, it remains the only global instrument currently available to address climate change. Parliament ratified the Kyoto Protocol in December 2002.
1.3 In determining how to meet its climate change commitments, the Government of Canada established two important conditions. First, there must be a workable plan. And second, such a plan must be developed in full consultation with provinces, territories, stakeholders and Canadians.
1.4 The Climate Change Plan for Canada builds on a solid foundation for achieving Canada's overall target from actions taken in Budget 2000, Action Plan 2000 on Climate Change and Budget 2001. Many of the measures that have been taken, or that are being proposed, draw from the ideas that emerged from the National Climate Change Process (NCCP). The NCCP was instituted by Canada's federal, provincial, and territorial governments following Canada's signing of the Kyoto Protocol in April of 1998. The NCCP was asked to examine the impacts, costs and benefits of implementing the Kyoto Protocol, as well as options for addressing climate change, in advance of a decision on ratification. To achieve these broad goals, the NCCP was given the mandate to consult stakeholders, evaluate mitigation and adaptation options, and produce a national strategy.
1.5 The Plan is an...