Although I am including the highlights of the bill below, who cares really. We knew the Conservatives weren't going to do anything serious with this bill. To play devil's advocate, would the Liberals? Are any of these guys willing to stand up and say "gasoline should be taxed up to double it's current price, with the extra money going to environmental recovery"? Not likely, but that's the kind of serious measure which needs to be taken to actually save the planet.
More interesting than the bill is this story about the Canadian Automobile Association.
"The country's largest club for drivers, the Canadian Automobile Association, on Monday urged its members to spend less time behind the wheel and said this would help fight climate change and boost air quality.
The club which has 4.9 million members, also backed the idea of mandatory fuel efficiency standards for car makers. It said Canadians needed to "change their behavior and mind-set," with car-pooling, car-sharing and using public transport."
That's a fairly nice thing to hear from the CAA I think. And makes me feel a bit better about another rainy morning bike ride when dozens and dozens of metal death-machines were screaming past me and I was thinking of what a "drop in the bucket" my bike ride was towards reducing carbon emissions.
Highlights of the Conservatives' proposed Clean Air Act, from the Globe and Mail.
- By 2011, develop new regulations for vehicle fuel consumption.
- By 2025, set national targets for smog and ozone levels.
- By 2050, reduce greenhouse gas emissions between 45 and 65 per cent from 2003 levels.
- No mention of the Kyoto Protocol and the emissions targets the government of Canada comitted to in 2002.
- Harmonize vehicle emissions standards with those of the United States over the next 12 months.
- Harmonize regulations with those of the U.S. for volatile organic compound emissions in consumer and commercial products over the next year.
- Over the next three years, discuss and set “intensity based” targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions, rather than total emissions targets, for major emitters.
- Negotiate with provinces to create harmonized system for mandatory reporting of air emissions, reduction of regulatory overlap.
- Create environmental damages fund from non-compliance fines to be applied directly to cleanup.