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Kyoto Protocol

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Introduction

http://www.davidsuzuki.org/Climate_Change/Kyoto/Economics/ http://www.davidsuzuki.org/Climate_Change/Kyoto/FAQs.asp http://www.iisd.org/pdf/kyotoprimer_en.pdf Impacts The Canadian economy will be more affected than that of any other country. Alberta will experience the strongest impact because of its energy production and use of coal. The Protocol could cost Alberta over eight billion dollars and thousands of jobs per year. A reduction in government revenues would have a negative effect on programs and services. If the Kyoto Protocol is approved: * industry will have to modify technologies, resulting in higher product prices, * petroleum producers and other industries will have to purchase credits from countries not using their allotment, * $2 to $6 billion worth of credits may have to be purchased each year, with costs ultimately passed on to consumers, * money spent on credits would leave Canada, * resources and products would become less competitive in global markets, * industries that consume large amounts of energy would face rising prices, * emission targets could make oil sands projects uneconomical to continue, * investors would favour countries that do not have the extra costs associated with the Protocol, and * jobs would be lost because of the difficulty of remaining competitive with the U.S., our largest trading partner and a non-participant in the Kyoto Protocol. Some reports suggest: * 450,000 jobs could be lost,1 * income taxes could rise substantially,2 * electricity costs could increase by 100%,3 * natural gas prices could go up by 60%,3 and * gasoline could reach $1.10 per litre.3 All this would occur without making an actual or significant reduction in global emissions. Despite being a small contributor (2%), Canada will pay heavily because of its fossil fuel, natural resource production. Estimates suggest the economic risk to Canada will be four times that of the European Economic Community and 10 times that of Japan. What is the Kyoto Protocol? The Kyoto Protocol is an international treaty agreed to in 1997 in Kyoto, Japan. ...read more.

Middle

It will provide agriculture with opportunities from the increased production of bio fuels like ethanol. Any new energy-related pollution control technologies can be marketed around the world. Alberta's high-tech, biotechnology and other emerging sectors will receive some of the investment capital that is diverted away from energy mega-projects. Investment in the energy sector is one of the least effective ways to produce employment in any economy. This sector accounts for over 20 per cent of capital expenditure by Canadian business, but only two per cent of employment in business. Canada's adoption of Kyoto will not directly affect Alberta oil and gas exports to the U.S. These exports account for about half of current oil and gas production, and will likely continue to rise in the near future. The long-term future for Alberta oil exports depends on consumer behaviour in the United States, along with the U.S. government's strategic decisions on importing energy. It is hoped that the U.S. will move toward climate friendly energy policies, in line with the rest of the world. Oil and gas is a volatile industry in terms of activity and employment levels, and is driven largely by global prices and demand levels. Job losses are usually related to cash flows from current production, near-term investment plans, company mergers and new technologies. Overall, the number of direct jobs in Alberta oil and gas has declined steadily over the past decade, despite increases in production. The Canadian government's options paper on climate change forecasts that the Alberta economy will grow by 26.2 per cent by 2012, assuming a middle-of-the-road plan for implementing Kyoto. This is a significant growth rate that does not match the dire warnings of Premier Klein and many anti-Kyoto oil industry leaders. How much of the responsibility for Kyoto will be assigned to the oil and gas industry?A recent economic study from the David Suzuki Foundation, Kyoto and Beyond, forecasts that the oil and gas industry will be less affected than other sectors of the economy because so much of the product is exported to the U.S. ...read more.

Conclusion

As well, fossil fuel air pollution imposes immense human and financial costs related health impacts. In other words, taking action to reduce energy use has substantial economic benefits in many areas of our lives. Will Kyoto force governments to divert money away from health care and other important priorities?There should be no need for our Kyoto strategy to consume large amounts of new money. Our core strategy will be to reduce the wasteful burning of fossil fuels. Governments, like private industries and consumers, can generate net savings for themselves by making their own operations more energy efficient. Several municipalities, including Calgary, Edmonton, Regina, Sudbury and Toronto are already leading the way in this area. Governments can also adjust their tax policies to encourage energy efficiency among businesses and households. This could include targeted tax cuts instead of general tax cuts, and the adjustment of business tax incentives to reward energy efficiency. This type of tax policy is already well established in strong market economies such as the United Kingdom, Denmark and the Netherlands. What are the main sources of energy emissions in Canada? According to the inventory, the main sources of energy emissions in Canada are: Residential buildings: 45 MT Commercial buildings 32 MT Personal transportation 107 MT Freight transportation 71 MT Industry (energy use) 64.9 MT Non-energy sources (industry, agriculture, waste management) 135 MT Oil and gas production 119 MT Electric utilities 128 MT Coal-fired electric power plants are an extremely inefficient energy source, and produce about one-seventh of Canada's total emissions. The increasing use of trucks for personal transportation in contributing to rapid emissions growth in the transportation sector. Oil sands production is very energy intensive; the process burns about three-quarters of a barrel of oil to produce one barrel for sale. Canada can cut its emissions by 50 per cent by 2030 using existing technologies. This would include phasing out coal-fired power plants in favour of cleaner sources; phasing in more efficient truck engine technologies; and reducing our use of crude oil. ...read more.

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