Absolutely, Chair. I appreciate that, and it's unfortunate that there was a lot of time wasted by interruptions over the last, I think, about 15 minutes.
What clause 10 is missing is what we see in Canada's Turning the Corner plan, which will see absolute reductions of 20% by 2020 and 60% to 70% by 2050. Chair, what should be in Bill , which unfortunately the members opposite did not want to see in there, was that all coal-fired electricity plants that come into operation in 2012 or after will be required to meet a stringent target based on the use of carbon capture and storage by 2018.
Carbon capture and storage is a wonderful technology. We are world leaders here in Canada. In Weyburn, Saskatchewan, we have a carbon encapture technology that is used for enhanced oil recovery. It works wonderfully. It is piped right now approximately 320 kilometres from South Dakota into Weyburn, Saskatchewan. Then the carbon dioxide is mixed with water, and carbon dioxide is then injected into the geological formations in which the thick oil is suspended. As you inject the carbon dioxide and water mixture, the viscosity of the oil increases, enabling an oil field that was not producing oil anymore to be producing oil again. That's why it's called enhanced oil recovery.
The water and carbon dioxide are recovered and then reused, reinjected back into the ground. Not all of the carbon dioxide is recovered because much of it ends up staying in the earth. But it's a wonderful technology that is used for enhanced oil recovery.
The other reason that carbon capture and storage, also known as carbon sequestration, is so important is that the international community is counting on the carbon capture and storage technology to be used to capture and store approximately 25% of greenhouse gas emissions. So it's a huge part of the equation to address climate change and growing greenhouse gas emissions. If you can capture 25% of greenhouse gases and see them injected back into the ground, either stored or to be used for enhanced oil recovery, it's effective. There is no silver bullet, so to speak, but it is one of the major technologies the world is counting on.
As you go to these different international conferences, you find that carbon capture and storage is being counted on. That's why, when the minister was in Indonesia, in Bali, just a few months ago, one of the groups that came with the Canadian delegation was with EnCana.
The Bloc has made reference to that in its questioning in QP, and this is a technology that is missing in Bill , but it needs to be in Bill C-377. It needs to be in any piece of legislation. It needs to be in any plan. In any regulatory framework, you've got to have carbon capture and storage. It's missing in Bill C-377. It's missing in clause 10. If it's missing, you're going to have an ineffective bill. That's why I'm looking forward to being able to introduce that amendment to clause 10.
The federal government will establish also, in addition to carbon capture and storage, by 2018.... That means all the coal-fired plants that are dirty coal-burning plants, all the new ones coming on line, will have to use carbon capture and storage. That means you don't have the greenhouse gas emissions and you also have a complementary technology that will reduce that amount of SOx and NOx, which are pollutants, causing Canadians to be ill. So you have the dual benefit.
People wonder how we can take the oil sands, that natural resource, and use that natural resource in a way that's not going to be harmful to the environment. Carbon capture and storage is one of the key technologies. It is part of Canada's Turning the Corner plan for greenhouse gas reductions. It's missing in , and it's missing in clause 10.
The federal government will establish a clean electricity task force to work with provinces and industry to meet an additional 25-megatonne reduction goal from the electricity sector by 2020. Do we see that in ? We do not. Bill C-377 is a very general bill. Clause 10 is extremely general and does not give the impacts that we need.
We heard from every single witness group that it needed to be costed, that there would be jurisdictional problems. One of the witnesses was Peter Hogg, who said that the constitutional problem with is that it leaves the reduction of greenhouse gases solely to the regulatory power vested in the executive. The only direction given to the Governor in Council on the nature of the regulations is that they must be written to carry out “the purposes and provisions of this Act” and to “ensure that Canada fully meets its commitment under section 5”. This is the clause that contains the targets for 2020, and there is a later target as well. Clause 10 refers to clause 5, so they're intertwined.
We need a plan that is effective. is not turning the corner; the plan is. One wonders why the Bloc would support a plan that won't be effective. I think that's an important question. Why would the Bloc support a plan that could give the federal government unlimited, unfettered powers over provincial jurisdiction? Why would the Bloc want that? It baffles me to this day why the Bloc would want to give the federal government all that power, unlimited power, over the province of Quebec. It's definitely what this government wants. We believe you have to respect provincial jurisdiction. It's up to the Bloc to tell people why they would want to give the federal government unlimited power over Quebec. I don't agree with that. This is another one of the flaws within .
Also missing in are the targets, which we find in the Turning the Corner plan. All covered industrial sectors will be affected in the Turning the Corner plan, but not in . All industrial sectors will be required to reduce their emissions intensity from 2006 levels by 18% by 2010, with 2% improvement every year afterwards. The target will be applied at the facility, sector, or corporate level, as determined after consultations with each sector.
Where is there mention in , under clause 10, of consultations with each of the sectors? It's not there. Some would ask, should it be there? Mr. Cullen asked whether the government would like to make recommendations. I would like to recommend that there be consultations with each of the sectors. It would be an improvement to and clause 10.
The government's Turning the Corner plan also includes minimum thresholds that will be set in five sectors to avoid imposing unreasonable administrative costs on the small facilities. The cost of operations is different in small businesses, small corporations, small facilities. It's different for small compared to big, and you have to accommodate that. You see that in the government's Turning the Corner plan, an accommodation for the smaller facilities; you do not see that detail in .
I think it's a very important point, that you have these details in clause 10 of Bill C-377, considering what small facilities have to deal with and avoiding imposing unreasonable administration costs. If you don't have that, you're putting small facilities out of business, and we don't want that. We don't want Canadians losing their jobs. We also want them to be successful at reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
So clause 10 of Bill C-377 is another example of missing the mark dramatically. On the other hand, the government's Turning the Corner plan has fixed-process emissions that will receive a 0% target. The definition of fixed-process emissions will be based on technology feasibility.
To improve incentives to adapt the best available technologies for new facilities, those whose first year of operation is 2004 or later, a target based on a cleaner fuel standard will be applied. There'll be an incentive until 2018 for facilities to be built carbon capture ready.
A very important point that is also missing in , clause 10, is that as new facilities are built, they have to have that design built into them. If you do not design a new facility with carbon-capture-ready capabilities, it is not practical to do it afterwards. It becomes too expensive. That's why it's very important that we're giving that clear direction.
Does provide clear direction that carbon capture storage has to be designed into that facility? No, it doesn't. Canadians would ask, is it important? If the world is counting on the technology to capture 25% of greenhouse gas emissions, is it important that we give that message to industry? I believe it is. Then why would it be missing in Bill C-377?
Is it possible Bill C-377 is just a poorly written bill? Why is Mr. Cullen now getting directions from Mr. Layton not to cost the bill? He began his testimony saying it should be costed; now he's saying it shouldn't be costed. Why would there be this flip-flop? Canadians want to know. When every witness, including Mr. Layton, is recommending that it be costed, that an impact analysis be done, why would they now say no? The Bloc is saying they support moving this forward, and please disregard what the witnesses have said, let's move Bill C-377. Have they made a deal with the NDP?
How about the Liberals? The Liberals did absolutely nothing to clean up the environment—13 long years of growing emissions. We heard from Mr. Godfrey that they just didn't have the political will, I think those were the words he used. I hope I'm not misquoting him. The previous Liberal government just didn't get it done--13 years of not getting it done. In 1993 they ran on a platform of reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and it didn't happen. We saw emissions go up and up, to the point where they ended up 33% above the Kyoto targets, not even close.
So it's very important that , including clause 10, include components that will see reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, but that's missing. Canadians are wondering why the Liberal Party members, getting their directions from their leader, Mr. Dion.... Why would Mr. Dion say to support a bill that hasn't been costed? Why would Mr. Dion do that--support a bill that will have constitutional challenges, will not stand up to a constitutional challenge. Why would Mr. Dion instruct--
My opening comments were that the rules were broken. There are the Standing Orders; there are procedures within the House that you do not move a motion during a point of order. It's not to be done. When it happened on March 5, I asked the Clerk in the House if that was proper; I was advised that it should not be happening. Then I talked to the Speaker about that.
The rules were broken. It happened once and it shouldn't have happened at that time, but now it's happened a second time. It happened yesterday, and without respect for the rules we have, we have dysfunctional committees. All members have to respect the rules.
Mr. Cullen, on a point of order, I have the opportunity through a point of privilege to share a serious concern, and eventually I am going to be asking that this be reported back to the House. I want to make a point of the seriousness of what Mr. Cullen did, so I will continue.
I said, “That's the rules”, and then:
||The Chair: So if it's a ruling, then, I would cede to my advisers here and say that they're suggesting that's the rules of the House that, in fact, you can't make that when we're discussing a particular amendment.
||Just so everyone understands, we're discussing your amendment number on clause 10--
||Mr. Nathan Cullen: Yes, I appreciate that.
||The Chair: --and that can only be done when we move on to clause 11. That would be what the rules of the House--
||Mr. Nathan Cullen: Right, and we all know is the committees are masters of their own fate.
||Mr. Nathan Cullen: You've made this ruling. I wish to challenge that ruling.
||Mr. Mark Warawa: A point of order, Mr. Chair.
It went on to a recorded vote, with the opposition members agreeing with Mr. Cullen. It was a recorded vote, recorded in the blues, that they accepted a motion during a point of order.
I do not have the blues from yesterday yet--they are coming--but an almost identical situation happened. The difference is that the motion was limiting debate to two minutes instead of five minutes as requested, as moved on March 5.
I'm looking at Marleau and Montpetit. This is the procedure guide we use here in Parliament. These are the rules. On page 454, it says here:
||Superseding motions can be moved without notice when any other debatable motion is before the House. The Member moving a superseding motion can do so only after having been recognized by the Speaker in the course of debate. It is not in order for such a motion to be moved when the Member has been recognized on a point of order or during the period of questions and comments.
What we've seen very clearly is a flagrant abuse of the rules of the House of Commons.
On page 129, under points of privilege,
||Should a Member wish to raise a question of privilege in committee, or should some event occur in committee which appears to be a breach of privilege or contempt, the Chair of the committee will recognize the Member and hear the question of privilege,
--which you're doing right now, and I thank you--
||or in the case of some incident, suggest that the committee deal with the matter. The Chair, however, has no authority to rule that a breach of privilege or contempt has occurred. The role of the Chair in such instances is to determine whether the matter raised does in fact touch on privilege and is not a point of order, a grievance or a matter of debate.
That is why I brought it up. This is the only recourse I have as a member of this committee when we see a flagrant abuse of the rules of procedure.
What is the recourse I have in bringing it to the committee as a point of privilege, and what are the recommendations in Marleau and Montpetit? The answer is found on page 858.
I could refer to a report from the Speaker of the House that was distributed a couple of days ago. Speaker Milliken was reporting to the House of Commons on how he is seriously concerned about the abuse of rules and the problems happening in the committees. The standing committees are very important, and if we're not obeying the rules, we have disorder. He expressed great concern.
On page 858, under the heading of “Disorder and Misconduct”, it says the following:
|| Disorder and misconduct in a committee may arise as a result of the failure to abide by the rules and practices of a committee or to respect the authority of the Chair.
We saw that demonstrated yesterday, and we saw it happen on March 5.
||Disorder and misconduct also include the use of unparliamentary language, failure to yield the floor or persistent interruption of the proceedings in any manner.
That we saw also--persistent interruptions--and we are seeing it demonstrated again by Mr. Cullen. I would ask Mr. Cullen to please control himself.
These are the options for the chair:
||In the event of disorder, the Chair may suspend the meeting until order can be restored or, if the situation is considered to be so serious as to prevent the committee from continuing with its work, the meeting may be adjourned.
That is my point of privilege. I am concerned that there has been disregard for the rules of Parliament. It was not accidental. It has happened a second time. The appropriate result of that, according to Marleau and Montpetit, would be that the chair consider this and that this be reported back to the House. The appropriate action at this time would be to adjourn, according to Marleau and Montpetit.
That is my motion.
This is on clause 10 of Bill C-377, which is an NDP bill introduced by . I believe it's a dangerous, irresponsible bill, because in clause 10 we have little detail, particularly on the costs. We were asked numerous times by the witnesses, including Mr. Layton, including Mr. Bramley, to have a costing, an impact assessment done on it.
The cost the NDP would impose on Canadian families and businesses would be astronomical. Conservatives are standing up for Canadian families and businesses by trying to stop this bill in committee. It's not a good bill.
What the NDP is proposing would require a 40% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from where we are today. That is simply not possible without causing massive job losses and huge price increases in electricity and gasoline, keeping in mind that when the Liberals signed the Kyoto Protocol, Canada had an 8% reduction to meet--that was the target, 6% below 1990 levels--and our greenhouse gas emissions have skyrocketed since they've signed on, and we are now 33% above the Kyoto target.
The fact that the Liberal members are now supporting this is irresponsible. It demonstrates that the Liberals will sign or do anything, because they have no intention of doing anything on climate change. They had 13 years to show they cared about climate change, and now their support of Bill C-377, when they also supported Canada's Turning the Corner plan, demonstrates that they will support anything. They supported Canada's Turning the Corner plan, which has targets of 20% absolute reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2020, and which is a good plan.
Our Turning the Corner plan also includes details that we see missing in Bill C-377. Unlike the Liberals, the Bloc, and the NDP, our government is actually taking serious action on fighting climate change.
In Bill C-377 we see vague measures taken, referring to clause 5 and targets in clause 5, and then it goes on to say in subparagraph 10(1)(a)(i), “including measures taken in respect of...regulated emission limits and performance standards”. The next subparagraph 10(1)(a)(ii) says, “market-based mechanisms such as emissions trading or offsets” Then subparagraph 10(1)(a)(iii) says, “spending or fiscal incentives, including a just transition fund for industry”.
Now they are acknowledging they're going to be putting many people out of work, but with no details of how to achieve a plan--interesting.
Subparagraph 10(1)(a)(iv) says, “cooperation or agreements with provinces, territories or other governments”, but we also heard from the expert witnesses that Bill C-377 would give the government unlimited and sweeping powers over the provinces and jurisdictions, which is not what we support.
Under the Turning the Corner plan, on the other hand, the Liberals did support this, and what's troubling is that they're supporting everything but getting nothing done. They seem to be trying to jump in front of parades, but again, not getting anything done.
The Bloc has to be consistent in that they never have got anything done, and they voted against our Turning the Corner plan, but they do support Bill C-377 when the expert witnesses are advising that it should be costed, that an impact analysis should be done. The Bloc is supporting that it go ahead without that, which is concerning.
It also is very concerning that in clause 10 of Bill C-377, by proceeding with it the way it's written, the way it has been amended, we are ignoring the advice of the witnesses. We would end up with Bill C-377 not achieving anything.
On the other hand, the Turning the Corner regulatory plan was supported by the Liberals--and I want to thank them for that--both at the Speech from the Throne and in the budget. Numerous times they've supported our Turning the Corner plan, which actually does get the job done on cleaning up the environment.
In April 2007, a year ago, the framework set an initial required reduction of 18% from 2006 intensity levels for existing facilities by 2010.
Is there a point of order?
So new facilities, which are those whose first year of operation is 2004 or later, would be granted a three-year commissioning period before they would face an emission intensity reduction target.
After the third year--and this is all missing in , clause 10--new facilities would be required to improve their emission intensity by 2% each year. A cleaner fuel standard would be applied, therefore setting the targets as they were using the designated fuel. A flexible approach would be taken in special cases where the equipment or technology used in a new plant facilitates carbon capture and storage or otherwise offers a significant potential for emission reductions.
It is so important that we have the technology of carbon capture and storage as a technology that Canada encourages, promotes, and helps fund, because the global community, our international partners, people, the major emitters that have to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions, everybody needs to be able to be given those tools to stop climate change, to fight climate change. One of those tools is carbon capture and storage.
The world community is hoping carbon capture and storage will account for about 25%. So it's important that this be developed in Canada. We already are the world leaders.
The carbon capture and storage project in Weyburn, Saskatchewan, has now moved on to a phase from proving that it is very effective, very successful in storing carbon dioxide, and also by pumping it into the ground with water to enhance oil recovery from old oil fields that were no longer producing.
But we've also, in our funding of $9 billion of environmental programs--$9 billion, it's a huge investment, and it's a historically high investment in Canada, it's huge, because this government is serious about seeing greenhouse gas emissions reduced in Canada and globally. That's why we're investing in this technology of carbon capture and storage.
We have moved to that phase of commercialization. Between now and 2009, there's a phase of commercialization research. So it's very important that we fund that. We have.
When people do something that is good for the environment, I want to acknowledge that. In the past I have been quite disappointed by the Liberals and their lack of action on the environment, but when they do something good, I want to give them credit. They did support our budget, which included that $9 billion for environmental programs, and I want to thank them. I want to thank them for supporting our Turning the Corner plan.
On the other hand, I was disappointed by the Bloc. They voted against $9 billion for environmental programs. They voted against carbon capture and storage research and development. Of course, not surprisingly, the NDP did not support that either.
We need to have that technology, and Canada is moving forward for both new and existing facilities. Fixed-process emissions, which are emissions tied to production and for which there is no alternative reduction technology, would require a 0% target in the reductions. In other words, there is no way with current technology for these types of emissions to be reduced except for shutting down production.
So we're looking at the situation in a very practical way. Are we seeing that in ? No, we're not. is missing substance that would actually initiate reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. This is what we have been telling Canadians we're here for.
We're here in the Standing Committee on Environment and Sustainable Development to work together cooperatively to see tangible results. is not accomplishing that; the Turning the Corner plan is.
We need to see Bill C-377 dramatically rewritten. I think it was the Bloc that suggested that Bill C-377 be totally rewritten. Now they have introduced a number of amendments, as did the Liberal members, as did the NDP. They basically rewrote Bill C-377.
But we need to accept further amendments, and as I said before, we need to seriously change clause 10, because the way we have clause 10 written now in Bill C-377, it's missing the ingredients to see absolute reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. And that's what Canadians sent us here for, to work hard together to see absolute reductions.
We're already seeing results through our Turning the Corner plan, because it includes what Bill C-377 does not. It needs to include compliance mechanisms like those we see in the Turning the Corner plan. In order to provide flexibility and to minimize the economic impacts of the regulations, firms could comply with the regulations either by reducing their own emissions through abatement actions or by making use of one of the framework's compliant mechanisms, for example, the technology fund.
Now, Bill C-377 does mention a transition fund dealing with businesses that would be put out of business. A technology fund is quite different. Firms would be able to obtain credits for compliance purposes by contributing to a technology fund. The fund would be a means to provide the development, deployment, and diffusion of technologies that reduce emissions of greenhouse gases across industry. A third party entity at arm's length from government would be created to administer the fund. A key principle is that there would be no inter-regional transfer of wealth. It's a very important point.
Are we seeing any of those details in Bill C-377, clause 10? No, we're not. It's very concerning that we have Bill C-377, clause 10, which is not providing mechanisms that will actually see reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. It's not providing mechanisms, like a technology fund, to help industry, and those are definitely needed.
Under the Turning the Corner plan, contributions to the development and infrastructure component of a technology fund aimed at investments with a high likelihood of yielding greenhouse gas emission reductions in the near term would be limited to 70% in 2010. That's less than two years away, and industry is aware of this happening. That is why we're already seeing tangible and concrete action through our mandatory reductions of greenhouse gas emissions to a level of 20% by 2020.
I might add that this is the toughest target in Canadian history, and it's one of the toughest in the world.
The contributions to the technology fund--which are missing from Bill C-377--as I said, would be limited to 70% in 2010, but falling to 65% by 2011, 60% by 2012, 55% by 2013, 50% by 2014, 40% by 2015, only 10% by 2016, and again 10% in 2017. So you see a definite pattern. This gives direction, Chair, to industry that they can use the technology fund, but only for a certain period of time. You have to phase out of it.
Now, do we see that in Bill C-377? No. The fund they have is a transition fund for industry that is being put out of business. That's not good for Canadians, and it's not good for the environment. Industry needs to be successful at cleaning up the environment, and it needs to be able to continue to provide good green jobs to Canadians if we're going to be able to tackle climate change and show how we do it,and take that strong leadership here in Canada, and demonstrate to the rest of the world that it can be done here.
An example of that concerns the amount of carbon dioxide that you create when you make aluminum. In Canada, one tonne of aluminum creates four tonnes of carbon dioxide--in China, it's seven--and through technology we're cleaning it, and it will become even less than four tonnes. So Canada will be one of the cleanest, environmentally friendliest producers of aluminum, when we already are and we'll continue to improve that. So that technology fund helps build Canadian technology--technologies, again, like carbon capture and storage.
No further contributions would be accepted to the technology fund after 2017. The research and development component, which would focus on projects aimed at supporting the creation of transformative technologies, would be limited to five megatonnes each year, also ending in 2017.
From 2010 to 2012, the contribution rate for the fund would be 15 tonnes for carbon dioxide equivalent, and that is the rate that's set based on carbon dioxide, and that's why it's called the carbon dioxide equivalent. Methane is 21 times more damaging than carbon dioxide, and that's why you use the base of a carbon dioxide equivalent.
In 2013, the combination rate for a tonne of carbon would be $20. Thereafter, the rate would escalate yearly at a rate of growth of nominal GDP to 2017.
We've already seen action happening on the environment that we will not see with Bill . Again, we've heard from every witness group that Bill C-377 does not have the components to evoke action, while we are already seeing action happening on the environment through Canada's Turning the Corner plan, which is moving from a voluntary program, which was used by the Liberals, to now a mandatory regulatory program using CEPA 1999. And we've had our notice of intent to regulate, so the regulations are already in that process, which has now spurred a carbon market, the Montreal Climate Exchange.
So they're already seeing very definite positive results. It is puzzling that from the support we received from the Liberals for our Turning the Corner plan to move forward—and them all over the place.... I'm hoping they're encouraged by the good work that they are seeing happening already in Canada from the Turning the Corner plan. We definitely are, and I know Canadians are.
One of the other compliance mechanisms that we have in the Turning the Corner plan that we don't have in Bill under clause 10--and I really believe it needs to be in there--is the inter-firm trading. Firms whose actual emission intensity in a given year is below their target would receive tradable credits equal to the difference between their target and their actual emission intensity multiplied by their production in that year. These credits could be banked for future use or sold to other parties, including other regulated firms.
Another mechanism is the offset system. You need to have these compliance mechanisms, and Bill is missing that. I would be very open to seeing Mr. Cullen accept these as amendments to Bill C-377. In the offset system, offsets are projects that result in incremental real verified domestic reductions or removals of greenhouse gas emissions in activities that are not covered by the federal greenhouse gas regulations. These projects would generate credits that firms could use for compliance purposes.
Then there are CDMs, clean development mechanisms, through the UN. Firms could use certain credits from the Kyoto Protocol's clean development mechanisms. Access to these credits for compliance purposes would be limited to 10% of each firm's total target.
CDMs are one of the many tools that are important to industry, and this is what is being used internationally to help industry reduce its greenhouse gas emissions and their effect on the climate. CDMs are not in Bill , clause 10. They are supposed to be listing mechanisms that would actually see reductions to greenhouse gas emissions. They are not in Bill C-377, clause 10, but they are in Canada's Turning the Corner plan.
As we go through this, it becomes very clear that Bill is not going to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. It still needs a lot of work before we proceed.
Another compliance mechanism that's missing in Bill that should be there is a one-time credit for early action. Firms that took verified action between 1992 and 2006 to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions would be eligible to apply for a share of a one-time credit for early action. A maximum of 15 megatonnes worth of credits would be allocated, with no more than five megatonnes to be used in any one year. Firms would be required to submit evidence of changes in processes or facility improvements they've undertaken that resulted in verifiable incremental greenhouse gas emission reductions.
The maximum allocation for emission reductions would be one credit for each tonne of carbon dioxide equivalent reduction. If the total tonnage of emission reductions applied for were to exceed 15 megatonnes, the credits would be distributed to individual firms in proportion to their contribution to the total emission reduction achieved. So it's a good recognition of good corporate citizens that were doing their part already in Canada to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Is it fair? I believe so.
The government's plan has already been enacted, is already at work, and is already happening. We're seeing actual positive results, real results, in Canada's Turning the Corner plan, which includes credit for early action. Why would that not be in Bill , clause 10? I'm not sure, but it should be. Credits for early action should be given. So that's another suggestion for Mr. Cullen, and maybe he will accept that as an amendment--to see credits for early action. Businesses that have invested in cleaner technology for the benefit of the environment are good corporate citizens.
On the example he used about aluminum, there are cheaper ways of making aluminum. You can make aluminum using dirty coal-fired generating plants. To make aluminum takes a lot of electricity. If you use coal-fired plants to make aluminum, you're using an old technology and you're going to be producing a lot of carbon dioxide and pollutants. It is a very popular metal and is used worldwide. The demand for aluminum is continuing to grow, because the more aluminum you use in making vehicles, the lighter the vehicle becomes, and the less energy is used to move a vehicle down the road. That's why our North American auto manufacturers are using a lot more aluminum.
Canada is using a cleaner technology that produces only four tonnes of carbon dioxide for one tonne of aluminum. It's a cleaner technology than what is being used in China, where they produce seven tonnes of carbon dioxide for one tonne of aluminum. So should those Canadian companies that have invested in cleaner technology that benefits Canada--and it's more expensive to build it that way--get a credit for that early action? I think they should. That's why we have that.
Why would that be missing in Bill? As I said, I believe strongly it shouldn't be missing. Bill C-377 is unfair by not having that. It needs to be in there.
An application for the industrial regulatory framework is expected to result in significant absolute reductions of greenhouse gas emissions from the 2006 levels. I'm not optimistic at all that this would happen with . That's why I'm so concerned about Bill C-377. The Turning the Corner plan would put Canada on the path to meeting its national emission reduction targets--20% absolute reductions by 2020--and that's good news.
We were at the international COP 13 meeting in Bali. We had the witnesses come back to this committee, and they shared with this committee that Canada had gone through a cycle of being embarrassed because they weren't getting things done. That's what concerns me about , clause 10. It would not accomplish a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. is a bill that would embarrass Canada.
Canadians are tired of being embarrassed by inaction by the previous government. They want action. They have action now. We're already seeing positive results from the Turning the Corner plan. Why would we want to go back and have slow the process down, not get any results in reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and again embarrass Canada? We don't want that, and I believe Canadians don't want that either. They want action, and they're getting that under this government.
Following the release of the framework in April of last year, the government consulted extensively with the provinces and territories as well as with ENGOs, aboriginal peoples, industry, and other stakeholders on key policy and regulatory development issues and the framework that remains to be elaborated on.
The federal, provincial, and territorial governments have initiated a cooperative process to work through the regulatory issues, through the environmental protection and planning committee of the Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment. Some provinces have indicated an interest in negotiating equivalency agreements with the federal government. We're working with every single province and territory in Canada to see absolute reductions in greenhouse gas emissions.
We heard, and there is mention in , clause 10, of cooperation or agreements with provinces, territories, or other governments, but there are no details--no consultation, no mention of ENGOs, no mention of aboriginal government. That's another example of not even coming close to the mark of what kind of consultation needs to happen.
The federal government is responsible for setting targets that are realistic and concrete, and for setting them within a regulatory framework that will end up with results. We see that in the Turning the Corner plan. We do not see that in .
It also involves the federal government providing partnership with the provinces. We've set standards that are minimum standards. If the provinces want to exceed them, then we encourage that. We are helping fund that. Almost $600 million, I believe, was provided to the Province of Ontario to close down some coal-fired plants. I'm not quite sure what the Province of Ontario has done with that dollar amount, but that's what it was for, to help them close down the coal-fired plants.
That needs to happen, because that's the old technology. The new technology is reducing greenhouse gas emissions. That's where the Government of Canada is going. We're providing leadership. We're providing regulations. We're providing targets that are realistic.
At the same time, we're helping the economy and helping the environment. We're providing the funding. We then want a partnership. We want to work with the provinces in equivalency agreements and in friendly ways to see absolute reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. And we're very happy with the progress we've made working with the provinces.
Following the release of the framework last year, the government, as I said, consulted. The federal, provincial, and territorial governments initiated a cooperative process to work through the regulatory issues. The consultations focused on coverage.
Should small facilities be excluded from the regulation in order to minimize the administrative burden, and if so, on what basis? I believe that we need to show consideration for the smaller facilities. You have to take a different approach with a large facility than you take with a small facility. Each is producing greenhouse has emissions, but the business case for an older facility or a small facility is different from that for a facility that is just being built using a cleaner technology. So that has to be considered. It was part of the consultation process with the provinces.
We don't see that in , clause 10. I believe that it needs to be in there. I hope Mr. Cullen is listening, because I'm hoping this is another part he would be willing to see added to clause 10 of .
Also, the consultation included discussions about targets. For example, how should the greenhouse gas targets be applied in different sectors? Each province has different sectors, different focuses of industry. Should certain sectors face special circumstances that would require a different application of the framework?
There was discussion on finalization of the definition of fixed-process emissions in each sector and on targets for treating major expansions and transformations. Do they have carbon capture storage built into them? How will a cleaner fuel standard be incorporated into the target for new facilities in each sector? It is very important that we burn a cleaner fuel, that we recycle the fuel, the energy that we already have above the earth.
The problem with climate change is that we are taking the energy that is below the earth above the earth and burning it and adding this new carbon dioxide to the atmosphere. We need to stabilize that. We need to recycle the carbon dioxide, the carbon we already see above the earth, to stabilize and stop a warming climate.
We need to have targets with the provinces--and that's part of the consultation--for incorporating the cleaner fuel standards. How would the regulations apply an appropriate incentive for cogeneration, a wonderful technology that needs participation from the provinces and the federal government? That's already happening. A wonderful example of that is landfills.
Chair, you've often encouraged the committee to talk about actual practical things we can do to see greenhouse gas emissions.... What we need to have in Bill C-377, in clause 10, is an opportunity to focus on solutions. One of those solutions is cogeneration, or gasification of garbage. Instead of using a landfill to bury it, you gasify it, and from that gasification you separate out the gases and chemicals and use them instead of burying them in the ground. That's good technology.