CLIMATE CHANGE LEGISLATION APPROVED BY LEGISLATURE
– – – Manitoba Now Committed in Legislation to Meet Kyoto Target by 2012: Rondeau
Manitoba has solidified its position as a leader on action on climate change by passing legislation that commits the province to meeting its Kyoto target, Science, Technology, Energy and Mines Minister Jim Rondeau announced today.
“This bill is the product of the hard work and advice of hundreds of Manitobans who shared their ideas with us,” the minister said. “We want to thank and congratulate them for taking this important step on a path of building a clean and prosperous economy.”
The Climate Change And Emissions Reduction Act, which received royal assent today, is supported by Beyond Kyoto, Manitoba’s updated climate change action plan released in April.
This plan and legislation includes 60 specific actions to reduce greenhouse gases supported by more than $145 million in investments over four years including:
· A new coal-reduction strategy including a tax on coal emissions, capital support for coal-reliant industries to convert to cleaner energy and support for developing biomass, a coal alternative.
· Public transportation including enshrining in law a 50-50 funding partnership to ensure the province continues to pay half of transit’s net operating costs including rapid transit.
· Action on the largest emitters including closing down Manitoba Hydro’s coal-fired electricity plant in Brandon, except to support emergency operations, and capturing methane in large landfills. The province will work with the City of Winnipeg and Manitoba Hydro on a doable business plan for Brady Landfill that takes into account expenditures and revenues and provides funding for the project.
· Greener cars and trucks including expanding the use of low-carbon fuels, developing a made‑in‑Manitoba clean vehicle standard, reducing the number of inefficient automobiles on the road and supporting new trucking technologies.
· Alternative transportation choices for consumers including modernizing highway traffic laws to ensure that leading-edge, low- and no-emissions vehicles can be sold and driven in Manitoba and continuing the consumer rebate for the purchase of hybrid and electric vehicles.
· Clean energy expansion including energy-efficiency initiatives and the further development of hydro, wind and geothermal.
· Agriculture, forestry and community programs including a new sustainable agriculture program, the planting of five million trees over the next five years and new programs to help municipalities track emissions, conserve energy and water, and reduce waste.
· Coalitions with other Canadian provinces, U.S. states and other like-minded jurisdictions including sharing best practices, funding of new research and innovation opportunities, and meeting broader, regional targets like those set by the Western Climate Initiative (WCI). The proposed legislation is consistent with WCI targets.
The minister noted the plan and legislation has been endorsed by climate change leaders such as the David Suzuki Institute, the International Institute for Sustainable Development, California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano.
“We will continue to work with our partners inside and outside of Manitoba who can deal with the challenge of climate change as well as the opportunities it provides for the Manitoba economy,” the minister said. “While we have taken strong steps in this province to help restore the health of our planet, the hard work has only just begun.”