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CANADA

Standing Committee on Environment and Sustainable Development


NUMBER 009 
l
2nd SESSION 
l
39th PARLIAMENT 

EVIDENCE

Monday, January 28, 2008

[Recorded by Electronic Apparatus]

  (1530)  

[English]

     I'd like to ask the members to come to order, please.
    I would like to wish everybody a happy new year, and welcome back to the environment committee.
     There is an item at the end of the agenda for our work plan. We do need approval of that. That was sent out on December 20. I haven't heard back from anybody about any problems with it. I simply need a motion to accept that work plan so that Norm can distribute it officially. If there is going to be any discussion, I will put that off to the end, because we have witnesses here.
     Does anybody have a problem with the work plan as the steering committee has approved it?
    Mr. Regan.
    Mr. Chairman, my only question is whether it would be possible to try to get the eminent persons to come on a different date, as part of the work plan.
    Again, I think that request certainly can be made. We can ask the clerk to check on that and get an answer back to us. I think that's the way we should probably handle that, Mr. Regan.
    Does anyone have any problems with the work plan as suggested? Those in favour of the work plan as sent out?
    (Motion agreed to)
    I would like to welcome Mr. Shugart. I would ask you to make a statement of ten minutes maximum, please.
     I would draw members' attention to the fact that we have allowed three-quarters of an hour for this first session. If we do have to go over, we certainly could, with your permission. I believe three-quarters of an hour should probably get that report.
    Would you like to introduce the people you have with you, please, Mr. Shugart?
     Yes, I will, Mr. Chair. Thank you very much.
    With me is Mr. David McGovern, who is the assistant deputy minister, international affairs branch in the Department of the Environment, and Mark Berman and Normand Tremblay, who were also part of the team at the conference in Bali and were negotiators in various sessions.
    Thank you for the invitation to come and report to you on aspects of the climate change conference in Bali in the first half of December. The minister was attending the high-level segment of that conference, and my colleagues and others were throughout the conference prior to the high-level segment.
    Mr. Baird was assisted in these negotiations by a delegation that in fact comprised officials from across the government—the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, Natural Resources, CIDA, and others.
    In addition, Mr. Baird and the delegation were fortunate to receive advice and assistance from four advisers at the COP—l'honorable Pierre-Marc Johnson; Mary Simon, presidente de l'Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami; Ian Morton, founder of the Clean Air Foundation; and Elizabeth Dowdeswell, former executive director of the United Nations Environment Program.
    As all members of the committee know, the conference received enormous worldwide attention. It was the culmination of a year of tremendous public and media focus on international climate change negotiations, and of course it really kicked off what will now be another intensive two-year process.
    One of the events over the last year leading up to the conference was the UN Secretary General's high-level meeting on climate change at which the Prime Minister participated. He laid out the principles underlying Canada's approach to what we hoped would be a consensus at the Bali conference, referring to a balanced approach among the following: environmental protection and economic feasibility and the need to avoid unduly burdening the growth of any single country; a long-term focus, so that there would be a new international framework setting the scale; timing of global emissions reduction through to 2050; and a centrepiece on technology, the development and deployment of new and better technologies, including institutional mechanisms and measures to improve the environment for private sector investment as well as direct funding to aid broad-based technology transfer.
    Another principle was the inclusion of all major emitters, and also a framework that would be flexible and able to accommodate a variety of commitments as well as multi-stage efforts by countries and sectors.
    As I said, Mr. Chair, these principles formed the basis of our approach as a delegation in Bali.
    We sought to ensure that any new negotiating process included participation of all major emitters. It is clear that the ultimate objective of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change cannot be realized through the reductions of a small number of countries alone, essential as those are. Under the current protocol, only developed-country parties representing a mere 30% of global emissions are required to reduce emissions. We believe that real and effective action will ultimately be required by all major emitters, such as the United States, China, India, and others.
    We worked to establish a new negotiating process under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. We believed it had to have a clear mandate and set timeframes. We're glad to say—and the committee knows—that we arrived at a consensus by all parties to develop a new global agreement on climate change that is comprehensive and effective and that would represent a significant step forward.

  (1535)  

     We wanted to ensure a common end date for the two sets of negotiations that would be going on: the ongoing negotiations by Kyoto Protocol countries, and a new and broader process for all parties under the convention.
    For the recommendations coming out of these two negotiations, to be able to inform a new, comprehensive agreement, it was essential that there be the same end date. That way, any commitments under one process would be undertaken with full understanding of what might be agreed to under the other.
    We wanted to ensure that the review of the Kyoto Protocol required by the rules of the protocol in 2008 would be substantive. It's important that this mandated review look not only at emissions reductions under the protocol to date--in other words, the performance of parties--but also at the mechanisms and machinery of the protocol itself and at how effective that has been.
    Finally, we wanted, at the Bali conference, to operationalize an adaptation fund with appropriate governance. The fund was originally established in 2001 as a voluntary fund under the protocol to support on-the-ground projects. Prior to Bali, the fund had not been operationalized, and getting the fund up and running in Bali was seen as an important and significant priority for the least-developed and small island states.
    Given the time available, Chair and committee members, I will quickly refer to a fairly heavy program of bilateral meetings, including meetings with the UN Secretary General on our mutual perspectives on a post-2012 agreement, and also meetings with a number of other countries that were at the conference.
    Canada participates regularly in a group of countries known as the umbrella group, which is a useful forum for discussing agenda items and possible common positions. Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, the United States, Norway, Iceland, Kazakhstan, Russia, and the Ukraine are members of the umbrella group, and it is one of the teams, if you like, of countries that meet, and meet with each other to move the negotiations forward.
    Our negotiators are often asked in these meetings to chair various negotiating or contact groups in Bali. Individual Canadian negotiators were asked to facilitate a number of negotiations, including those related to compliance with the protocol; those related to a particular amendment to allow Belarus into the protocol; those related to operationalization of the adaptation fund; and those related to Annex I national reporting.
    I'll state for the record that in our view, the key outcomes of the conference included the launch of a formal negotiating process to develop the post-2012 agreement, the Bali action plan.
    Secondly, the action plan, which will have a clear agenda and work plan, will be based on the four building blocks that were sought in advance: mitigation, adaptation, technology, and financing.
    Guided by the need for deep reductions in global emissions, this new process will define mitigation commitments by developed countries and require nationally appropriate mitigation actions by developing countries in a measurable, reportable, and verifiable manner. And we'd be pleased to go into that in detail if the committee wished.
    Third, there was the agreement to conclude negotiations of new commitments for developed countries under the protocol by 2009, thus concluding, in parallel with and feeding into, the broader post-2012 agreement.
    And finally, it includes the operationalization of the adaptation fund.
    The Bali conference ended up being a positive start to what I've suggested is going to be an intense and challenging two years of negotiations.

  (1540)  

     Under the auspices of the United Nations there will be two sets of parallel meetings every three to four months in 2008-2009 under both the new negotiations process as well as the ongoing Kyoto Protocol process. The first meetings are tentatively scheduled for April 2008. Ministers will meet again for the conference of the parties, number 14, in Poznan, Poland, in December of this year, and negotiations will continue on both tracks throughout 2009, with the goal of coming together in a new global agreement at the 15th conference of the parties, in Copenhagen in 2009.
     My colleagues and I would be pleased to elaborate if we can.
    Thank you, Mr. Shugart.
    Just as a reminder to everyone, we'll have ten minutes for each party. You can split your time if you so desire, but I'll try to keep it fairly tight on ten minutes per group.
    Mr. McGuinty, if you would like to start, please.
    Thanks, Mr. Chair.
    Thank you to the four gentlemen for being here this afternoon.
    I would like to go back, Mr. Shugart and team, to the first principles and get on the record what we said in Bali as a nation-state.
    First of all, can you help Canadians understand exactly what we said about our responsibilities, our timelines, our targets, and our participation in the Kyoto Protocol?

  (1545)  

    The key statement to the conference is the national statement made before all of the delegates, and that is pubicly available. Allow me to summarize some of the key points along the lines you have asked about.
    First of all, the minister underlined the government's commitment to the protocol, to the meeting itself, and the intention of the Canadian delegation to work towards a successful outcome. Reference was made, of course, to the policy of the government in relation to the regulatory and program agenda with respect to its own efforts in Canada, and more broadly the provinces and individuals, with a view to reducing Canada's greenhouse gas emissions by 20% from current levels by 2020. The existing policy of the government on GHG reductions was summarized, and I would say that was explained to other delegates in bilateral meetings over the course of the meeting as well.
    With respect to the core principles and features for an agreement going forward, the minister did make reference to the need for a long-term goal, reiterated Canada's objective stated in the Heiligendamm statement and the Canada-EU summit at the time of the G-8 of halving global emissions by 2050—a target for which Canada would share the view that all major emitting countries needed to be part of a subsequent agreement.
    Let me stop you there, if I could, Mr. Shugart. I think I get the drift. It's the same kind of message track we've heard here domestically.
    Did the minister stand up and tell the international community and the 10,000 delegates there that Canada has unilaterally changed the baseline year from 1990 to 2006 or 2005? Did he say so in his speech?
    I believe 2006 has been referred to, but we certainly refer to 2006 very transparently in all of our interactions.
    Did any other nation-state stand up while you were there and tell the world that they were unilaterally changing the terms and conditions of their international agreement?
    Different jurisdictions do use different baselines.
    Did any of them change them unilaterally since the time they ratified Kyoto and announce this in the international community in Bali?
    I don't know if any such announcements were made at the Bali meeting.
    I would point out that all jurisdictions, and we have been clear on this with the UN, know that it is entirely feasible to make a crosswalk between the 2006 base year and the 1990 base year.
     Okay. So that wasn't disclosed as openly as it might have been?
    Well, I would say that our reference to our base year has been clear throughout our interactions internationally. I don't think it's a secret at all.
    I'm sorry. I've been participating in international environmental meetings since 1988. Are you telling me that Canada has always said on the international scene that 2006 was going to be our baseline year?
    No, I'm saying that the government's baseline that it is using has been clear ever since that baseline was adopted by the government. There's been no attempt to hide that.
    By the new government. Okay.
    In the wake of the Alberta plan being released this week, Mr. Shugart and gentlemen, now once again we see there's no way the government is going to achieve 20% by 2020, because Premier Stelmach as much as said so. This afternoon both the Ontario and Quebec premiers held a press conference saying that the government is not to be believed on its domestic climate change plan.
    Can I ask what kind of consensus there was in Bali with respect to the federal government and provincial and territorial governments and their respective positions?
    We had a number of interactions with the provincial delegates who were there at Bali. I would not say that there was a formal process of generating consensus at that time. It was clear that the minister spoke for the Government of Canada and spoke for Canada in the context of this international meeting.
     At the same time, I think there was a good interaction with our provincial colleagues in terms of sharing information about what was going on in the negotiating sessions. I believe that provincial ministers did have their own interactions. They had their own program. I couldn't speak in detail to what they did on the ground, but there was no formal process for having a single position.
    Right. And I understand, having spoken to three provincial environment ministers, that there was no consultation prior to this meeting taking place in Bali. For example, I know that the Ontario Minister of the Environment called your minister's office twice looking for an opportunity to have a discussion in advance of Bali, and those calls were not even returned.
    Was there any kind of preparation previous to Bali between the provinces and the territories and the federal government? Was a single meeting held in preparation for our position being put in Bali?
    Well, there have been discussions on climate change with the provinces. I'm not aware of a meeting convened with provinces specifically with reference to the Bali conference.
    So there was no preparation, to your knowledge?
    Well, I can't speak to whether there were interactions between the minister and his colleagues of a more informal kind. But there was no formal federal-provincial meeting convened on Bali per se, although there have been, of course, on climate change.

  (1550)  

    Can anyone tell Canadians and the committee how much it cost to bring the four eminent people to Bali?
    I don't know offhand. If the committee wishes, we can provide that.
    It would be helpful. Is there an estimate? You must have an idea what it cost to bring your own officials.
    I'm sorry?
    You must have an idea of what it cost to bring your own officials to Bali, for example.
    Well, I don't know the per-person cost. I know we work within Treasury Board guidelines, of course, to--
    Mr. Chair, I think the committee would welcome that.
    You could send that to the clerk and we could circulate it to all members.
    That would be very helpful.
    So the next two years of negotiations, as you put it, Mr. Shugart, are going to roll out just as they were contemplated under the Kyoto Protocol. Is that right?
    Yes. There is the ad hoc working group for the Kyoto country further commitments, and there is the convention dialogue, both processes of which were discussed and confirmed with end dates established.
     Throughout our time there, until the last day, media reports indicated that in the holdout industrialized countries signatory to Kyoto--as you say, in the small group responsible for 30% of global greenhouse gas emissions--Canada was the single most intransigent holdout in all of the discussions. We were pursuing—and at least the government should be given an A for consistency—the same aspirational approach at the international level and working, we understand, fairly feverishly inside to undermine a final statement that would actually have science-based targets.
    Can you tell us what's happened with APEC? The Prime Minister was propped up in front of the White House some time ago saying that we were joining APEC. That was after his G-8 speech when he said pretty well that we were not going to abide by our targets under Kyoto. What has happened with APEC's aspirational targets? Did we actually take this aspirational approach in Bali? What came of it?
    We understand that in the last 15 minutes of negotiations our minister caved, got a large amount of applause for caving, and we got a final statement. Is that correct?
    Mr. Shugart, make it very brief, please, as Mr. McGuinty's time is up.
    Mr. Chair, the objective of the government--and it was applied consistently in the negotiations--was not to go beyond the purpose of the Bali conference, which was to establish the negotiating process. The actual discussion of what a target would be was not in fact an item for decision at Bali. We were convinced that we needed to have a clear negotiating process established that would be guided by the science of the IPCC. That was not a change.
    We also believed that in that negotiating process we needed to have the appropriate engagement of all major emitters. That was an issue that was consistently pursued in Bali.
    I would say that the reality on the ground was that the principles, as I have mentioned them and as they were laid out by the minister in the national statement, were in fact the positions that we took in the negotiating statements and in the negotiating process throughout the meeting.
    The Chair: Mr. Bigras.

[Translation]

    Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.
    I was present in Bali and was able to observe the work of the minister at that conference. The minister played hooky from several meetings.
    My first question is simple. Can you confirm that during the last 48 hours of the conference in Bali, the minister left an important meeting of presidents who were seeking a consensus in the international community with regard to the Bali conference? Can you confirm that the minister left a meeting of presidents close to 48 hours before the end of the conference?

  (1555)  

    Mr. Chairman, I cannot confirm that. The member is referring to a report concerning such a meeting in the media. There was a fairly important meeting—I believe it was Thursday evening—of the friends of the chair group. It took place at the same time as another ministers' meeting and some representatives, that is the minister or myself, had to attend those two meetings.

[English]

    In fact, the minister did not leave any critical meeting that was in search of consensus over the conference. Canada was represented at senior levels, at appropriate levels, in all of these meetings. In some cases--I would say in most of these meetings--some countries would have their minister there; others would have their alternate head of delegation there. It would not always be the same in each case, and it would not always be the same for a given country in each of those meetings.
    As the conference went on, towards the end, in fact in most of the key meetings the minister and I and typically Mr. McGovern were there together. That is what happened, and that is what would normally happen in the conference.

[Translation]

    In reality, Canada contributed to weakening the Bali roadmap. Everyone agrees on that, including the scientists. Canada, which used to be an international leader in this area, even received, together with the United States, the year's Fossil of the Day Award, which is worth pointing out.
    I would like to know what position Canada defended in Bali as regards including the two-degree limit in the Bali roadmap. Did it strongly support it? I'm not talking here about additional notes or footnotes, but about including it in the Bali roadmap itself.
    Mr. Chairman, the issue of the two degrees was not expressly on the program. The targets, objectives and scientific facts highlighted by the group of international experts were of course a part of the discussions. Canada took part in these in a dynamic and consistent way and supported the position that the negotiation process on targets should be led by scientists. That was our delegation's position.
    But that is not the position you promoted in Bali. You did not say that the matter of the two degrees should be included in the roadmap and that you would defend this position on the international scene.
    Was that the position you defended or did you not, rather, do everything to have the two-degree limit removed from the roadmap?

[English]

     Did you want to comment on that?
     It's important to remember what the objectives were for the meeting, which were set out in fact by the Indonesian president of the COP and by the executive secretary of the UNFCCC, Mr. Yvo de Boer--a triple benchmark of success to launch the negotiations. It was to agree on the basic building blocks and it was to agree on an end date. It wasn't about negotiating the details of the process; it was to get the process in place. That was the successful outcome of the meeting in Bali.

  (1600)  

[Translation]

    Mr. Chairman, if small details don't have to be worked out, can the officials explain to us how it is that the minister said before the committee and in the House that he intended to bring the plan he had tabled along in his suitcase? If I'm not mistaken, it contains reduction objectives for 2020. These are intensity-based objectives, which we challenge, but they are nevertheless objectives for 2020.
    When he arrived in Bali the minister opposed the idea of a second phase of obligatory cuts by 2020 and proposed only long-term objectives. Is there not a contradiction between what the minister said here and what he said in Bali?

[English]

    What the minister said in the national statement was in fact that the current obligations of industrialized annex I countries should be expanded through deepened commitments by all industrial countries as well as through the participation of others. We did not put on the table what those commitments should be. That is the point of the exercise.

[Translation]

    I understand what you are saying very well. I was there and I heard what the minister said.
    In Canada, he proposed a plan consisting in reducing the intensity of emissions by 20% by 2020. Is that correct? How can he not make a medium-term commitment internationally? Why is he refusing to support countries who not only wish to see a commitment for 2050, but a medium-term commitment?
    Does this not show clearly that Canada's purpose was to weaken the roadmap, to reject the Kyoto Protocol—which contains a short-term objective—to avoid a medium-term international commitment, and to let emissions increase until 2050? Doesn't this show bad faith on the part of the government, Mr. Chairman?

[English]

     Mr. Bigras, I think it's difficult for Mr. Shugart to answer what the minister said. Obviously, we need to ask the minister to justify what he said. You're a little off topic here by having him defend what the minister said.
    Let Mr. Shugart answer, Mr. Bigras.
    I would just state that the government has said that this process has to lead to a halving of global emissions by 2050 as a long-term goal, which should guide the whole negotiation. Then, as a mid-term goal, Canada has committed to a national policy, a national objective, of a 20% reduction in emissions—actual reduction in emissions—by 2020, comprising a number of efforts, including the regulatory package, efforts by provinces and so on, and the negotiating process will itself address what should be medium-term goals in a new protocol. We will see the result of the negotiations.
    In its own regulatory plan, the government has indicated periodic stages of revision, examination, and review of targets. Over the next two years we and other negotiators, other countries, will need to come to grips with what those medium-term objectives should be. But the government's policy is that there should be medium-term commitments by all countries, in a binding mechanism, en route to a global target in 2050.
    Thank you, Mr. Bigras.
    Mr. Bevington.
    Thank you, Mr. Chair.
    I'm standing in for Mr. Cullen, who's the environment critic for our party and who attended Bali, and I'm sure he would have quite a number of questions to ask you on it.
    When the minister made his presentation at the beginning, he outlined the types of commitments that Canada was willing to make over the long term to this process. At that time, how many of the other presenters from various countries made a similar commitment or a similar statement about their willingness to reduce emissions by a certain percentage in the medium term, a certain percentage over the longer term?

  (1605)  

    Some countries did and some didn't. We share with the EU and with Japan, for example, a commitment to the long-term goal of reduction by 50% by 2050 in emissions. There are other medium-term goals, some of which are, I might say, in the process of being spelled out.
     The EU, for example, is prepared to contemplate a reduction of 30%, I think, by 2020, conditional on other countries joining in that commitment. Some, such as the United States, have not made any numeric commitment at all, although now, as a result of the Bali road map, have committed to participating in the process. We would hope that would result in numerical commitments in due course by the United States, as well. In addition, some of the other major emitters in the emerging economies have committed, by way of the Bali agreement, to appropriate national actions to deal with emissions. China, for example, has a policy that emphasizes goals with respect to energy intensity, energy efficiency in their economy. So I would say that it is a mix.
    Can you describe any reaction that other countries may have had to the Canadian baseline that was presented, the 20% reduction by 2020?
     I think Canada's position is regarded with a mix of views. Obviously the European Union, for example, would like us to go farther sooner. The issue of the baseline is of course one that is always on the table in order to ensure that we are, in the end, comparing apples to apples, and we agree with that.
    There are other countries that are interested in comparing what policy measures we're going to take across countries in order to achieve our objectives, but again, Bali was not a negotiation of the targets and the numbers. There wasn't, I would say, that kind of comparison or reaction of one country to another in terms of its particular policies or targets. That will undoubtedly come.
    Among the signatories to the protocol, were there other countries that made a public show of their failure to meet the obligations they undertook under the protocol?
    All I can say, Chairman, is what the government has clearly indicated. It does not believe that it will, in the time remaining, be able to meet the particular agreements arrived at in the Kyoto Protocol, but it is committed to the--

  (1610)  

    That wasn't my question. My question was, were there other countries that made it public that they would not meet their commitments under the Kyoto Protocol, to which they were signatories?
    No, not particularly, although I think it is well known that there are other countries, a significant number of countries, in the same position as Canada.
    Certainly, but Canada has taken a course to publicly say so and to create the climate where this kind of failure can be part of the ongoing dialogue of this protocol. I think it is very significant that Canada did what it did.
    A voice: [Inaudible--Editor]
    Mr. Dennis Bevington: Well, it's in the terms of the agreement; it's giving many countries the opportunity to point to Canada and say, well, they didn't make it, so we don't have to make it. That's a failure on the part of Canada for sure. I'm not assigning blame here, but I think it's a move that was made that certainly hurts the opportunity to continue the pressure for countries to come as close as they can to the protocol agreement.
    In terms of the delay of the final communiqué, could you explain that more completely? What were the causes? What were the particular issues that were making the communiqué unavailable at the time it was supposed to be?
     It certainly took longer to finalize things than the scheduled meeting, although I might point out for the interest of the committee that this is by no means the only time that this has happened at a COP. Some of my colleagues have been around this much longer than I, and they could tell me the number of times that it's happened. So that in itself was not a particularly unusual circumstance.
    One of the issues near the end of the meeting had to do with how one would characterize the participation of developing countries, who are referred to in the road map in appropriately different terms from developing countries, the Annex 1 countries. I think it would be fair to say that there was a degree of suspicion on the part of some of the developing countries about how the road map might be constructed if it were to imply the same level of obligation and so on. So that was a lengthy and somewhat difficult discussion, which took quite a lot of time. I'll ask my colleagues if there were other particular issues in the last hours of the meeting that contributed to the delay, but that was certainly one of the ones I was most directly a witness to.
    David.
    There were also some challenges for the secretariat. These are very complicated undertakings, and there were issues with respect to negotiations taking place among blocs, like the G-77 and China, at the same time as the plenary session was trying to conclude decisions on text. So there was a bit of a disconnect for a period of time on the Saturday morning, where I guess because people had been up quite late there were suspicions that simple mistakes were being construed as sort of behind-the-scenes negotiations.
    The secretariat got those sorted out. They were able to circulate common text that countries could actually look at and then the process could pick up again.

  (1615)  

    Thank you very much, Mr. Bevington.
    I will assure you I was at a number of COP meetings, and they all were late in their communiqués. Many of them went all night too.
    Go ahead, Mr. Warawa.
    Thank you, Chair.
    I'd like to thank each of you for being here. I would also like to thank you for clearly sharing Canada's position. I think that's what the committee wanted to know: the position of Canada going into the negotiations.
    There has been a history of rhetoric from a number of sources, and I think it's very important to get us back focusing on what the goal of the conference was and what Canada's position is: launching the negotiations, building those building blocks for a post-2012 agreement, and agreeing on an end date. That question has been asked in the House. I answered that question a number of times. A number of my colleagues are aware that those were the goals, and they were accomplished. I think there was a great success at the Bali conference.
    Did Canada's position at Bali differ from its previous positions at other international conferences, say over the last five years?
     Of course there has been an evolution, most notably as a result of the science, the work of the International Panel on Climate Change. I think the level of intensity and of urgency has increased.
     A number of elements of the agreement, the protocol, are in a sense coming due. For example, the review under article 9 of the protocol is an issue that we faced this time for the first time.
    I think the other element of the evolution of this process has been the unprecedented expansion and emergence and growth of the large developing economies and the change in the distribution of emission output, with a greater and greater recognition that in order to be successful over the long term we need to find a successful and appropriate means of the emerging economies participating in the future agreements. It seemed to many of us, not only at the COP in Bali, but in other international meetings, that the emerging economies themselves recognize that there will need to be an appropriate level of engagement.
     I think that will be one of the key elements of the negotiations that will follow in the next couple of years. Frankly, I think it will be one of the most difficult issues to grapple with. But I think that while that has been some time in coming, my impression is that it was at this particular COP that the essential engagement of the emerging economies was most pointed at this meeting. I couldn't say if that is something that is absolutely new from the position of previous governments of Canada at the COPs, but it certainly is one that is growing in its focus.
    Thank you.
    I'm going to ask you to keep your answers just a little shorter, because I have a number of questions for you.
    Could you provide your title to the committee?
    I'm the Associate Deputy Minister of the Environment.
    Previously with Health Canada.
    I was the Senior Assistant Deputy Minister, Policy, at Health Canada.
    Okay. How long have you been in public service?
    After spending a number of years on Parliament Hill, I entered the public service in 1991, I believe.
    So in terms of seniority, where does that place you in your department hierarchy?

  (1620)  

    Well, in seniority, I feel like I'm aging rapidly, but I'm a deputy minister, the associate deputy minister. I guess the deputy minister, Michael Horgan, who's been here, is there at Environment as well.
    The reason I ask is there was a quote from Steven Guilbeault. It was quoted in the Ottawa Citizen on December 15. He claims that Canada was being represented in certain parts of the meeting by junior bureaucrats. Do you think that's a fair characterization of your title, a junior bureaucrat?
    No, it's probably not entirely accurate.
    I would agree. I think Mr. Guilbeault will be one of the witnesses invited by the NDP, and I look forward to asking him for an apology.
    I understood that a good deal of the negotiations with the United States were represented by Paula Dobriansky, the Under-Secretary of State. Would you see that as a similar ranking, or would you outrank her?
     It would be very roughly comparable, Chair, but of course it isn't an apples-and-apples comparison. Ms. Dobriansky is, without doubt, a very senior official in the State Department. It would be important to mention that the chair of the Council on Environmental Quality of the White House was also in the U.S. delegation, and that, again, is not a comparable reference.
    There was no one at the cabinet rank for the United States at the Bali conference, but the delegation was headed by very senior officials who speak for the administration.
    Again, the logic for this questioning is that senior members of the department were representing Canada and were a part of the negotiations.
     How engaged was the minister, Mr. Baird, at the negotiations?
    He was fully engaged, particularly in the work of bilaterals and in the negotiations, and sometimes in meetings that would be called by the president of the COP to work on particular language or a problem. That was an issue I would say perhaps half a dozen or certainly four times in the last 24 hours of the conference.
    Mr. Baird was available at a moment's notice if any member of the delegation needed reference to the minister for direction or instruction. Whether it was in groups of countries or in the plenary or in specific negotiating sessions, the minister was heavily engaged.
    In these late-night negotiations, were ministers from other countries also involved?
    There were some, yes, and some no.
    Okay.
    As my last question, again, there is a lot of misleading information out there. Canada has a very clear position. We're committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions. We're also asking that all the major emitters get involved in reducing their emissions. I think we've set a good example.
    The minister was actively involved. You are not a junior member. You're a very senior member.
    This is a quote from the Liberal media press. It says that the minister “was also absent from key negotiating sessions”. Is that true?
    I think I addressed that, Mr. Chairman. No, it was not true.
    Thank you very much.
    Thank you very much, Mr. Shugart and the other officials, for being here. We certainly appreciate it.
    We will now go to the next part of the panel and invite our three guests to appear, please.
     I'd like to welcome our three guests. We have asked them to keep their presentations to five minutes each, which will allow the maximum length of time for questioning.
    I have this little grey box here. I think certainly Mr. Drexhage is familiar with it. We'll try to keep you to five minutes, and then we'll have the maximum amount of time for questions.
    We'll begin with Mr. Lavoie, please.

  (1625)  

     Members of the committee, thank you for inviting me to tell the Bali story from my perspective as a member of the Canadian youth delegation to COP 13.
    In 2006, as the government betrayed its international Kyoto obligations and cancelled existing climate change programs, youth representatives from more than 45 Canadian business, labour, and environmental organizations gathered in Toronto to create the Canadian Youth Climate Coalition. In December 2007 the CYCC assembled a team of 32 young Canadians hailing from different backgrounds and interests, united in our resolve to face the biggest threat to human kind: climate change.
    The Canadian youth delegation to Bali was well received at the conference. As part of the international youth presence at COP 13, we contributed to an intervention on article 6 concerning education and a presentation at the high-level plenary session. CYD members met with the NDP environment critic, Nathan Cullen, the Bloc Québécois environment critic, Bernard Bigras, the Liberal leader, Stéphane Dion, several NGO representatives, the environment ministers of Quebec, Ontario, Alberta, the United Kingdom, and others.
    Absent from our discussion table was Minister John Baird, the only representative who refused the CYD meeting, unlike his predecessors. The minister's office was uninterested in input from Canadian youth for the duration of the conference, and abandoned basic standards of transparency, openness, and civility. They even refused to receive a petition signed by more than 60,000 Canadians.
    We travelled to Bali not simply to protest injustice, but to work with our government for our country and the world on an issue directly concerning our future. This government's belligerent attitude affects more than its treatment of the CYD. While past efforts were insufficient, our nation was once a respected contributor to international efforts to fight climate change. In Bali, the question most asked of myself and other CYD members was what happened to Canada? Former allies in the fight against climate change were shaken by our government's position.
    Canada was one of the last countries to sign on to the Bali road map, and its reluctance to do so until the bitter end underscores a lack of leadership on the part of this government. The Harper government's position was labelled “immoral” by a delegate from Bangladesh, “uncooperative” by a delegate from China, “obstructionist” by a German delegate, and the UN's top diplomat called our stance “hypocritical”. The absence of our environment minister at important events was a stain on this government's performance at COP 13. Minister Baird disrespected an international audience by choosing not to attend his own presentation of Canada's new “Turning the Corner” plan. Some of the minister's personal behaviour, such as shouting at the founder of a major international NGO, was publicly embarrassing to Canada.
    The CYD is relieved the international community agreed to negotiate a post-2012 framework before 2009 in order to hopefully solve the global climate crisis. However, as a result of this government's inaction, this agreement is weak in targets and timelines. We noted three major constants in this government's behaviour in Bali: first, a disregard for democracy, basic rights, and liberties; second, a disregard for the international process; third, a weak commitment to fight climate change to ensure a safe and sustainable future.
    In Bali, the Canadian youth delegation pledged to our government: this will follow you home. I'm here to notify you of the resolve of thousands of Canadian youth to hold this government accountable for its failures in Bali.
     The CYD submits the following three recommendations to the committee to undo the damage done in Bali by Minister Baird and the Harper government.
    First, Canada needs to clean up its act at home. The government must immediately implement emission reductions consistent with international efforts to prevent a rise of two degrees Celsius in the global temperature. As much as we hem and haw, the science is clear. This means we must eliminate fossil fuels as the basis of our economy, and do so in my lifetime. The longer we wait, the more it will cost us all.
    Secondly, the Canadian government should include youth in discussions on climate change on an ongoing basis.
    Finally, the committee should produce a report to explain this government's failure in Bali, with particular focus on Minister Baird's demonstrated lack of commitment to constructive dialogue on climate change.
    I'm privileged to have participated in the Bali conference, while I deeply regret the role our government played there. Nevertheless, I do hope every member of this committee will engage with us to correct this government's course on a matter of vital importance to our future.
    Thank you.

  (1630)  

    Thank you, Mr. Lavoie. Five minutes and one second.
    Mr. Drexhage.
    I'll be trying to address some of the broader issues around Bali and what it actually delivered, instead of specifically addressing issues from Canada—at least in my intervention. I will talk about the implications for Canada, however, and I'll be glad to answer any questions about Canada and Bali, should you so choose.
    First of all, was Bali a success? If I may bring in a baseball analogy here, while the final agreement reached at Bali was far from a home run, neither was it a strikeout: I guess I would categorize it as a bunt single. The world is on base in addressing climate change, but barely. We are now entering into the last innings of this critical global challenge.
    What did it achieve? Well, let's not overlook some of the extremely useful decisions reached on avoiding deforestation, some progress on technology transfer, and an important agreement on the operation of the innovative adaptation fund.
    On the post-2012 issue, decisions were reached that established a road map for countries to hopefully reach a decision on new targets by late 2009 in Copenhagen. But a clear guide, particularly for major developing economies, would have been preferable.
    What Bali didn't achieve, unfortunately, was an agreement around what should be the global target in reaching the convention's ultimate objective. I well recognize and I totally agree with what was stated before by the Canadian government concerning the base expectations of Bali, that those were delivered, but I think it was also becoming increasingly critical that the global community set its sights on a global objective.
    I well recognize that achieving such a goal would have been an enormous accomplishment, but I am also increasingly of the view that the global community must set its sights on such an objective if we are to make any headway in the negotiations over the next two years.
    Besides the drawing up of the terms of reference for developed and developing countries' mitigation efforts for post-2012, probably the most contentious issue in the negotiations was the reference to how much reduction would be required by developed countries to avoid the scenario of global temperature rising more than two degrees Celsius.
    The IPCC did not.... We have to be clear about this. I'm a leading author with the IPCC, and I know what it does and what it does not do. It does not make recommendations; it reports on what the literature says. What it reported was that if we want to avoid a two degrees Celsius rise, OECD countries need to reduce their emissions between 25% and 40% from 1990 levels by 2020. But—and this was the interesting omission from the discussions—it also means that major developing countries need to require a significant deviation from business-as-usual scenarios by that same date.
    The real question is, why are we now so focused on two degrees? Could we not, if not thrive, at least cope in a world three degrees warmer, which even though it would still call for significant reductions over the next few decades would give us considerably more room to make the enormous transitions that are required?
    The problem is the other side of the IPCC findings, the synthesis report that concludes that even under a two-degree scenario, we're going to see some very real changes in the global ecosystem. Under a three- to three-and-a-half-degree scenario, it becomes almost fully apocalyptic. Fully 40% to 70%—let me repeat, 70%—of the world's species could be at risk of extinction.
    If there were ever a case of being stuck between a rock and a hard place, this is it, especially for Canada. On the one hand, we stand to be one of the countries most impacted by climate change, with potentially disastrous consequences for our northern cities and ecosystems; yet we have one of the most carbon-intractable economies in place amongst OECD countries.
    The way ahead for Canada? First of all, I was heartened by the comments of the Prime Minister in his Christmas-time interview with the CBC. He states that the scientific evidence is compelling, that it will carry costs and responsibilities for Canada, and that we must show leadership while also clearly calling for a global response that includes all the world's major economies.
    Secondly, we must not only accelerate the implementation of the current plan, but follow up on the recommendations of the national round table on the need for significant carbon pricing, by elaborating now how Canada will be able to meet its interim target of 20% reductions from 2006 levels.
    The government also needs to offer options that would see further reductions by 2020, including adjusting the base year to 1990, and more in line with where the science now compels us.

  (1635)  

     Third, the government should support a two degrees Centigrade global target, and this would require a developed country range of 25% to 40%, while also making it clear that commensurate actions by major developing countries, at the very least, begin to take on limitation targets starting in 2020.
    Fourth, I don't think we can underestimate the extent to which Canada's perceived legitimacy in the post-2012 negotiations are undermined by our failure to clarify how we plan to maintain our status as a Kyoto party while not meeting our mitigation commitments under the protocol.
    Will Canada submit to the non-compliance provisions set in the protocol? If yes, we should say so. If no, then frankly we should show respect for the international process and notify the government's intent to withdraw Canada from the protocol.
    I'll leave it at that, Mr. Chair. Thank you very much.
    Thank you very much, Mr. Drexhage.
    Mr. Henderson, please.
    My name is Chris Henderson. I'm here in my capacity as managing director of the EXCEL Partnership. I'm going to do three things: explain to you what the EXCEL Partnership is, tell you what the view of this partnership is relative to Bali, and suggest what our views are in terms of where we go from here.
    EXCEL is an acronym. It stands for “excellence in corporate environmental leadership”. It's a business body. It consists of companies like Alcan, B.C. Hydro, Dofasco, EnCana, RBC, Teknion, Suncor, DuPont, and others.
    Membership in this group is not automatic. It only goes to sustainability leaders.
    EXCEL is affiliated with the World Business Council for Sustainable Development, the global body for business and sustainability around the world. You get to be a member of EXCEL if you want to, as a company, and latterly if you meet certain performance targets for your environment and sustainability programs.
    I note on the question of climate change, if you look at the carbon disclosure initiative, the top performers, in terms of their disclosure and their liabilities and action, are members of the EXCEL Partnership. We don't come before you, though, as a lobby group. We are distinctly not a lobbying group.
    EXCEL was started over a decade ago as a learning partnership. Our members meet regularly, we learn how we will deal with the challenges of environment and sustainability and the opportunities inherent in them, and do that in a collaborative way across business sectors. We have companies from 10 or 12 different business sectors.
    We were asked to come before the committee in our relationship with the World Business Council for Sustainable Development.
    When we look at Bali—and some of our companies were at Bali—I'm going to put a business lens on this. I'll leave the commentary on the specific nature of the protocol and the negotiations to others who are more qualified. There are three things in Bali that we feel have some potential, but I agree with the analogy that John Drexhage made: it's very early days, and the progress is limited.
    First, we do like the idea of global sectoral targets. The idea of being able to compete across economies is a key issue for Canadian companies. This does not obviate Canadian regulatory action, but we do like the idea of moving to global sectoral targets.
    Second, we do think it is positive that the other major actors who are not signatories to the agreements in terms of their obligations, like the U.S. and major developing countries being on board, is important, so the regime of negotiation post-2012 we endorse.
    We were hopeful there would be more clarity related to the creation of a more formal global carbon market, but were disappointed in that respect. There are still too many uncertainties.
    But the most important thing I'd like to share with you is that our concern, from a business standpoint, is there is just simply too much short- and long-term uncertainty on this question in Canada.
    The companies that are EXCEL members have been acting on climate change, and have done for decades in some cases. We think three things should be put before the committee and before Parliament.
    One, we do expect, as you well know, that we'll see some regulatory provisions come forward by the government over the next few months. We welcome those. There are different views companies have on the specific ways that affect them. However, we think we need both a short-term regulatory environment and a long-term regulatory approach or a policy approach that really gets to the heart of capital stock investment and how we move to a technology platform that reflects the carbon realities we face. We don't see where the policy environment is to play with that in Canada at this point. We don't know how to.
    Secondly, if we're going to deal with climate change effectively, the validity of a carbon market under a regulatory platform with offset trading and other mechanisms is highly useful. It's not going to be easy to do this. It's going to be complex, time-consuming, and costly.
    So how are we going to design it? At one time the process of designing climate change action in Canada was a real interactive process between the Government of Canada and the private sector and NGOs and other actors out there. It isn't now. We don't know how we're going to design a trading regime. We don't know how baseline inventories will be set, we don't know how GHG protocols will be established. So we're going to design a whole economy, and yet perhaps the greatest repository of knowledge in this country of designing any market mechanisms, the private sector, isn't directly inputting into that process because we don't know what the process is. We need a process that's transparent and open and allows players to create that economy.
    Finally, we have put before the committee and Parliament that we need to emphasize innovation. Regardless of the targets we have in the short term, regardless of the targets we're going to need in the long term, they'll be tough to get to. We can't get there without having an innovation approach that is not just technological, it's innovation and thinking how the government, industry, and other partnerships work, and how we deal with good ideas to deal with climate change and carbon emissions.

  (1640)  

    Thank you for your time, Mr. Chairman. I'd just emphasize those three points.
    Thank you. You made the five minutes exactly.
    We'll go to Mr. McGuinty.
    Thank you, Mr. Chair.
    I just want to go back to a question I put to the associate deputy minister. When we get the information about travel costs for the eminent persons, could we also request that we get information about whether per diems or contractual payments were made for these four eminent persons in Bali? I would appreciate that. Thank you.
    Thank you, Mr. Henderson, and all of you, for your presentations. You've finished off on an important note.
    I want to split my time here shortly with Mr. Regan, Mr. Chair, if I can.
    Very quickly, then, I have a couple of questions for the three of you. I'll ask you one by one.
    Mr. Henderson, was there any consultation with your group prior to the minister's departure for Bali?
    We came here with the business delegation of EXCEL members in May of last year. We met with the minister and we met with others. We gave them input. We offered to be more consultative. We were not asked to do any more.
    There was no consultation pre-Bali and there was no position put to you. I'm assuming that this was before the government's “Turning the Corner” plan was released. Or was it after it was released?
    That was before.
    So you came to speak to the government before the “Turning the Corner” plan was released.
    Mr. Lavoie, I have a couple of quick questions for you.
    How many youth delegates were there from Canada at the meeting?
    There were 32.
    Who paid for you to participate in the meeting?
    We and our sponsors, who we had to go and recruit.
    Did you receive any support from the Government of Canada at all?
    We wish, but no.
    Did you have any chance to meet with the minister or his officials pre-Bali so they could consult you and get a sense of your position, which reflects the views, obviously, of an awful lot of Canadian youth?
    In the meetings you cite in this handout, you talk about the minister yelling publicly. You talk about the minister walking out of a formal briefing on his own “Turning the Corner” plan. What happened here? What was going on here with this minister?
    We never had an opportunity to speak with the minister, so it's very hard for me to speak on his behalf. We were present at the event, which was labelled as a presentation on the “Turning the Corne” plan, and we eagerly awaited him speaking. He was seen at the event and he left early, and it was announced at the very end of the event that he would not be presenting the “Turning the Corne” plan. So that was never discussed at the event. Only presentations from business were made.
    I don't know why. It was just said very vaguely that something had come up, and that's the only justification the audience was ever given.

  (1645)  

    So what you're saying is that he didn't even show up to present the plan.
    No, and he never met with us either, and that's not for lack of our trying very hard.
    You're telling Canadians that this was a formal meeting, convened by the minister, to present to, you say, over 100 international participants, with media there, Canada's showcase “Turning the Corner” plan, and you're telling the Canadian people that he didn't show up to present it.
    That's exactly right.
    This was an event that was supposed to explain the “Turning the Corner” plan. This was a UN side event, so there was an international audience. There were Canadians there. There were people from all over the world who had shown up, because they were very curious to hear about this plan, which had become notorious because it was a justification for this government not accepting this or that because they had their own plan. And they were going to explain this plan.
    But the minister never showed up to explain this plan at this event, and we were not given an explanation as to why. So this was an embarrassment to Canada. I remember one Australian coming up to me after the event, and he said, “I'm not even Canadian, and I find this embarrassing”.
    Go ahead, Mr. Regan.
    Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    Mr. Drexhage, were you there as well?
    Yes.
    Was your observation similar? What do you have to say about that event?
    That event? I was there for about a minute. I was told that there was nothing going on, so I left. I can't speak to it, no.
    What was your understanding of what the event was supposed to be?
    As was characterized, it was a side event where they were going to talk about Canada's plan.
    The reason you didn't stay was...?
    There didn't seem to be much of anything happening.
    So it turned out that they weren't presenting the plan at all.
    Yes, that's what I was told. That was my understanding. I had more important things to do.
    Fine.
    Now, speaking of more important things to do, there's been a story about the minister leaving an important meeting for other things that weren't more important, but we heard the deputy today tell us that it didn't happen, and so forth. Do you have any knowledge of that? Do you have any comment on that?
    I'm not going to be reporting on second-hand knowledge. I have no direct knowledge of anything. All I would ever receive is second-hand knowledge.
     My understanding of the IPCC is that you have a situation where scientists come together, but there are also government officials who gather at these meetings, and you get a fairly conservative view of what's happening and what the scientists have observed--something everyone can agree to and that their governments will approve, essentially. That's what seems to come out from these IPCC meetings.
    The worry I have is that things are happening faster than we think. Last Thursday evening there was a report on CBC television news about scientists who had done studies on coral in the Caribbean and found that during the year 2005, the hottest year on record, half the coral died in the Caribbean. I haven't seen anything else on that since, which surprises me. I thought the next day I'd see it in the papers and so forth, and I haven't. I'm anxious to hear more about this. I'm going to have to call the scientists at Dalhousie University in Halifax. I should have done that by now; I have to do that.
    In view of all this, are we way behind? Is Canada leading the retreat?
    I will absolutely agree with you in terms of the conservative estimations coming out of the IPCC reports. As a result, one of the very interesting recommendations that came from the national round table last week was how we need to develop our adaptive policy-making within the government. I'm not talking about adapting to the impacts of climate change. I'm talking about the fact that it is very realistic to assume that the clarion call for doing something about climate change, and that we need to do it more and more urgently, will only increase because of these things.
    Another thing you need to keep in mind is that all the research that was reflected in the fourth assessment report is, by definition, by its mandate, already two years old. So we haven't been able to take into account the latest evidence that's coming out on this over the last two years.
    Six months ago I can remember representative Bigras asking me about two degrees, and I honestly told him that in terms of turning the energy juggernaut, it doesn't make a heck of a lot of sense. That reality still hasn't changed. What has changed is the environmental side of it now. It's becoming clearer and clearer that we are heading into something that none of us are ready for and that we really do have to take this two degrees seriously, and that it does call for huge sacrifices on the part of the Canadian economy. But let's not get fooled. It calls, at the same time—and we have to have all our cards on the table--for the same kinds of commensurate actions by major developing economies, and we have this decade to sort it out.

  (1650)  

    Is it your sense that in Bali, for example, the reluctance of this government to support strong action was a result of a fundamental unwillingness to believe that the problem is serious and real? It strikes me, when I hear that report.... I'm anxious to hear more about that situation of the coral in the Caribbean, as I said. But if it's true--and you have scientists who have studied it--if they're saying that half the coral in the Caribbean died in 2005 because of the heat, and that it was the hottest year on record, we ought to be damned alarmed about that and scared to death. It ought to cause us to be very anxious and very willing to take action.
    I don't see that from this government.
    Fair enough, but at the same time.... Far be it for me to be reading the minds of the government or government members, but I think the real reluctance behind it is this whole business of developing and developed country engagements. Why don't we call them at it, then? If in fact the governments are reluctant to take on stronger actions, why not take the lead? In fact one country, South Africa, actually has. Just a couple of weeks ago their ruling party recommended mitigation targets for South Africa. They have taken the first step.
    So yes, I think it would be appropriate for Canada and some other countries to also begin taking some steps in the right direction.
    I have less than a minute. I'll let it go.
    Thank you.
    Mr. Bigras.

[Translation]

    Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I will be sharing my time with Mr. Lussier.
    I have two or three questions to ask. My first one is for Mr. Jarvis Lavoie.
    Like parliamentarians, you were not invited to participate in the Canadian delegation in Bali. However—I don't know if you know this; if not, I will tell you—others were. I am thinking of the petroleum giant, EnCana Corporation of Calgary. It was invited by the government to join the Canadian delegation.
    How do you feel about the fact that parliamentarians, youth and non-profit organizations were not invited to join the Canadian delegation, but that EnCana Corporation of Calgary was?
    This disturbs us and makes us very uncomfortable. I'm going to talk on behalf of Canadian youth in particular. We came up against the lack of openness of this government at the 13th Conference of the Parties in Bali.
    It was impossible to meet with the minister. We met the Canadian delegation and that is the only meeting that we were able to obtain. Right from the outset, we got the feeling that we were being put in our place. The attitude was one of condescension and we found it very difficult not to be consulted.
    This tells us that there is a problem and that it must be corrected. We also need the help of all of the members of the committee to correct this problem.
    Just like you, this disturbs me, but it also worries me because it means that the big oil interests were represented in Bali within the Canadian delegation, whereas parliamentarians were unable to make their voices heard within that same delegation. Those members of civil society whose task is to protect Canada's and Quebec's environmental interests were not represented either. In my opinion, this is very worrisome.
    I will move on to my second question. Mr. Henderson, you spoke about the carbon market. We were very happy to read the report of the National Round Table on the Environment and the Economy which was released last week. It stated that a price had to be set for carbon and that there had to be a carbon market in the form of a tax or a carbon exchange. However, Canada clearly indicated in Bali, in particular, that it did not intend, in the second phase of cuts, to introduce mandatory 25% to 40% reductions of the 1990 level by the year 2020.
    You spoke about uncertainty earlier. What is it that creates uncertainty around a future Canadian carbon market? We should remember the declaration made by Mr. Ivo de Boer about a month and a half ago, when he clearly said before the international community that a carbon market could disappear as quickly as it was created.
    In looking at the current situation, I note that there is a gap between the European position and the Canadian position. Will this gap not be a drag on the capacity of Canadian businesses to do business on the international market, and more particularly on the European market, which will represent over $70 billion in the course of the next few years?
    Will Canada's position and the weakening of Canada's position internationally not mean that Canadian businesses will run the risk of losing important market share?

  (1655)  

[English]

     There are three points I'd make in response to your question, briefly.
    Should there be a set price for carbon? The price of carbon you can do two ways: you can set a price for carbon, or create a demand for carbon offsets on the basis of a regulatory regime.
    Again, my third point was innovation. Therefore, most businesses and most members of the EXCEL Partnership like the idea of a market-based carbon instrument but understand that you have to drive that to some regulatory basis. I also said there needs to be a short term and a long term. So read into that that we have to make a transition from an initial set of regulations, and over time you're going to strengthen those.
    The challenge for business obviously has been in a competitive context: how do you do that across economies, especially with other countries? That's why some aspects of the sectoral targets in the Bali discussions were useful. So we do need a carbon market, and we do need a market to drive carbon offsets. I would suggest that pegging a price is not the most effective way. It's not as innovative as you would get if you created a demand for carbon offsets by having some manner of regulatory regime that changes over time and really recognizes that capital stock investment has to take place.
    In terms of the trading regime, and if we don't do this, do we have a barrier to trade relative to other economies that are acting under the protocol, such as in Europe, I don't think so, in the short term. I can't see how it will evolve. But the reality is that businesses would rather have clarity for capital investment, and business is global; therefore, business would rather have us keep pace with a global movement to act, rather than stand back.
    So I would say an open market is better, with more innovation, and drive it with the regimes that you create. Just make sure that they recognize competitive realities too.
     Monsieur Lussier, you have about four minutes.

[Translation]

    Mr. Henderson, I would like to continue in the same vein. Among the businesses you represent today, there are oil companies and large corporations such as Alcan. How do you manage all of these businesses in light of the fact that the target date of 1990 was changed to 2006? Some businesses in your group made very big efforts from 1990 to 2006 and these will disappear.
    How do you manage that with your partners?

[English]

    It's a good question. As I said in my opening remarks, we're not a lobbying organization; the companies represent their own positions. But from a learning standpoint of sustainability, we can say that having clarity and acting sooner makes better sense because you can do the right things in terms of investment.
    I can tell you that seven years ago, when we were looking at the credit for the early action regime, our companies asked to be given credit for acting early, but that went by the way-boards. That's not going to be on the table.
    We're less concerned about how the market affects individual companies than about creating a market where all companies can be innovative. A company with major emissions, like in the oil and gas sector, is going to have a certain target regime, but certain opportunities are inherent in that too. If we crave clarity in the market and allow companies to be innovative, innovative things will happen, carbon sequestration being one example.
    So we don't necessarily see how one company is acting versus another; we're just saying let's all be innovative.

[Translation]

    Very well, but Alcan made considerable efforts and reduced its emissions by perhaps 18%. In my view, it should have accumulated credits. The businesses that increased their greenhouse gas emissions have no credit and owe a debt to society.
    How do you manage these two partners in your organization?

  (1700)  

    I understand, but we have a problem because...

[English]

how do you look at the flow of emissions over time? What is the nature of the baseline? How do you bank credits if you get them? It's a very tricky situation.
    A company like Alcan clearly says they should receive credit for this. I understand that and personally would support that. The reality is that we have to figure out--as Wayne Gretzky says--where the puck is going, versus where the puck has been.
    So we're tending to focus now on creating a market and a go-forward future.

[Translation]

    Thank you.

[English]

    Mr. Bevington, please.
    Thank you, Mr. Chair.
    It's been an interesting discussion and I thank you, witnesses, for coming here today. We heard of many of these things attached to the Bali conference, and certainly from the youth delegation.
     When you said you couldn't meet with the minister, how did you ask for a meeting with the minister?
    We had an outreach group. We were broken up into groups. I can personally testify to having asked the minister at a cocktail reception whether or not he would meet with Canadian youth. He refused, with a grin on his face that pretty much told me there was no chance of that whatsoever, on the basis that he said one youth had come up to him and been very unpleasant. We've not been able to identify that youth, and there are 32 of us. That was about it. That was about a week and a half into the conference, and we had been trying and trying.
     Different members of the delegation had been sending e-mail. We couldn't even submit a petition with more than 60,000 signatures to the minister, let alone have a meeting with him. He wouldn't even take a piece of paper with 60,000 names on it. So I don't know how better to describe our relations with the minister's office.
    So did you come up with another strategy to get your point of view across at the conference?
    We had multiple strategies to begin with. We had media strategies that involved creative actions, making placards, getting out where there would be cameras and trying to frame the messaging of what we wanted to see happen at the conference. So we used the media.
    We also had meetings with the international youth delegations. We were dealing with Australians, Americans, people from Europe and Africa, and the Indonesians. We were talking to members of official delegations from other countries. I told you we met with the ministers of the environment from the United Kingdom and three Canadians provinces. We were doing the best we could to use all strategies.
    So I think it would be safe to say that in failing to meet with you, the minister probably was negligent in gaining an ally, moving forward, and presenting a stronger Canadian position. Would you say that was the end result of what happened there?
     Yes, he did. He reinforced a very negative image of his commitment to youth--at the very least--and to climate change in general.
     Okay, thanks.
    Mr. Henderson, you talk about a number of things in here. One of the things you said last spring is that you met on Parliament Hill with the environment minister, the deputy ministers from five departments, and the opposition leader. Did you attempt to meet with the other two parties on Parliament Hill?
    We might have. I'll have to check the record. We had them here for one day. We packed it in and then went from--
    It didn't seem all that important to you to meet with two parties that represent about 30% of the voting population?
    Respectfully, we had a certain amount of time to do it in. Let's look at that in the future.
    So you didn't meet with them.
    We didn't meet with them, no, but as I said, I'm quite happy to look at that.
    Yes, okay.
    You put three things before the members of the committee, in terms of the work of Parliament. One of them is the short- and long-term mindset about where we should go. Does that imply we should look at a more directed economy in Canada--that it's probably the only way we're going to achieve the massive infrastructure changes we require and the ability to make the right choices early on?
    All of these parties here today are talking about reducing greenhouse gases by at least 50% by 2050. In order to accomplish that, we have to stop investing in the wrong infrastructure today. Is that not correct?

  (1705)  

    Absolutely, and that's the point we made. More specifically, we say we need regulatory clarity and consistency--
    You mean a directed economy, a planning process that would yield the kinds of results we're looking for.
    I don't think I said that. What I said is we need regulatory clarity and consistency--and we do have regulations for all manner of things, including all manner of environmental things--and we absolutely need that for greenhouse gases.
    One can classify that as direction--I'll leave that to you--but that's what we're asking for.
    Okay.
    As a recognition of what that does, it creates a demand for carbon reduction and carbon offsets. It creates the drive or demand to move in terms of how capital stock investment in technology is deployed. The sooner we do that, the better.
    It's going to be a moving target and we're going to have to get there, but let's start. It's been a long time. Our company's first climate change project was in 1988, when we helped Swiss Reisurance in Munich reassess climate change risk. Man, I'm getting old at this, and so is John and so all of us here. Let's just go.
    I had an opportunity to meet with the Danish minister of energy last spring when he visited here. He said quite clearly to me that they had a successful energy policy, they had a successful direction. He said you have to take the politics out of it because it's a course that has to be supported by everybody in the country in order for it to be effective. The intrinsic nature of the targets, the requirements for investment, the commitment that all parties have to have means you need that multi-party agreement in Parliament.
    Right now we haven't been able to bring forward a national strategy on energy, which is of course the dominating reality of greenhouse gas emissions. Mostly, I think it's because we've adopted a continental energy policy and we're working quite actively with the United States in its directions to secure its energy supply.
    How do you feel we're going to be able to move from that position--of an acquiescence to the requirements of the United States for a continental energy supply and energy security--to a Canadian clean energy future, without a very directed message to our economy?
    You'll remember that a number of these organizations have been very clear that, first of all, I don't think we have a continental energy plan. It's a supply issue, as you mentioned, that's really at work.
    Commenting on that, groups like the Conference Board and the council of CEOs have said, look, that's part of the reality of energy that we face. But part of it is how do we deal with the environmental obligations along the way, including greenhouse gas emissions. You can't decouple these issues; they have to be coupled together.
    Business recognizes that. Frankly, we'd prefer to have one regulatory mechanism across the continent because of the nature of the trading regimes that we have. Almost half of the assets of EXCEL companies are in the United States, so having one regulatory approach makes sense. That's why I said in my opening remarks that we think the push to get the United States into the protocol in a more formal way is desirable. What we don't need is a lot of fragmentation.
    I think you're absolutely right to link the energy and climate change issues together. I don't think you can decouple them.
     Mr. Drexhage, I wonder if you would want to comment on that as well.
    I'm certainly in agreement with Chris in terms of the need to integrate the two. At our institute we're going to be holding a conference at the beginning of March looking at post-2012 scenarios for Canada. I find that within the context of what the different options are, the scenarios out there from a Canadian short-term economic perspective are daunting. There are some daunting challenges ahead of us.
    What you mentioned in terms of a continental energy supply really has to be taken into account. Where do all of the energy exports go from the oil sands? Vehicular transportation in the United States.... It's a matter of we have to close off both ends; we have to address both ends of the issue. Until we can begin to address the vehicular demands that happen across North America, to that extent will we ease the pressure in terms of the development of the oil sands?
    There is, of course, also carbon capture and storage, and those kinds of technologies also need to be more seriously looked at.
    There is no one magic bullet, I totally agree with you. In fact, we have called for it in a number of articles that I've done consistently, for beginning a discussion with premiers and the Prime Minister, in fact initiating a conference on a clean energy strategy.
    We keep calling ourselves a clean energy superpower. We have to figure out how to make that transition. I've never seen provinces more onside with this idea than ever, and now is the time to strike. I would love to see it.

  (1710)  

    Thank you, Mr. Bevington.
    Mr. Drexhage, you might let us know about that conference and send the clerk any details so that all members know about it. Possibly we will be able to attend.
    Yes, absolutely.
    Thank you.
    Mr. Watson.
    Thank you, Mr. Chair.
    Thank you to our witnesses, Mr. Henderson and Mr. Drexhage, for your return to our committee, and welcome to Monsieur Lavoie.
    I'll be the first to give you the only shameless plug. I am told you're a contestant on CBC's Next Great Prime Minister. This is probably valuable experience.
    Mr. Lavoie, maybe I will start with you. There has been such a proliferation of environmental groups, networks, coalitions, and for Canadians listening, they probably need a bit of a handbook to understand who's who with respect to the ENGO presence at Bali.
    You were a part of the Canadian youth delegation, and it was part of the official delegation of the Climate Action Network of Canada. Is that correct?
    Yes, we were accredited by the Climate Action Network.
    Would you describe the Climate Action Network as an ENGO or a group of ENGOs? How would you describe it?
     I'm not an expert on this. I'm much more familiar with the CYD proper and the parent organization, the CYCC.
    We were accredited by the Climate Action Network. I would describe it as an ENGO.
    Completely non-partisan as well?
    Yes, I would say so.
    You've described the Canadian youth delegation this morning in your press conference, in a transcript, as 32 Canadian youths from across the country, from different backgrounds, having different interests, and united this year to go and be representated at the conference. You've talked about their being between the ages of 18 and 26 in your opening statement. Obviously this is a delegation, so it is not an ENGO per se--you wouldn't describe it as that. It's non-partisan as well. Is that how you would describe the delegation?
    Very good.
    You are testifying here today as an individual, and I'm going to presume non-partisan as well. Your presentation is before us.
    That's right.
    Let me explore the non-partisan nature a little further if I could.
    This quote is from the official website of Liberal McGill. “Liberal McGill is the official arm of the Liberals”...I imagine that's an error...“Party of Canada on campus at McGill University”. An article you wrote, Mr. Lavoie, quotes you as the president of Liberal McGill, and I think it's now former president of Liberal McGill. There are articles also from The McGill Tribune, quoting you as president of Liberal McGill and president of the official arm of the Liberal Party of Canada on campus. If I might ask, did you attend the Liberal Party leadership convention as a delegate, or are you here as a member of the Liberal Party today? Do you stand by this as being non-partisan?
    No, and I have to preface anything I say by emphasizing and repeating that the CYD is a non-partisan organization. It is comprised of various individuals who belong to all political parties and some of them none. Some might have trouble explaining the political process to you but are experts on the science. It is a non-partisan organization.
     Yes, I did do work for the Liberal Party of Canada. I'm proud of my record of civic engagement, but I'm not here in that capacity. I wasn't chosen in that capacity. I did attend the convention, but not as a delegate.
     Okay.
    Delegates from your organization were repeatedly making claims that Minister Baird and the Canadian delegation were obstructing negotiations.
    Just for the record, at the conference in Bali, how many of the negotiating sessions did you or members of the youth delegation participate in?
    There is no way for me to tell you that. I don't know because so much of it was left to....
    We had a policy group. I was part of the outreach group. So we had our different jobs to do. The policy group people attended the sessions, and the tasks got distributed within those groups.
    I could get back to you with the answer, but I don't have it ready for you.
    Perhaps some of your members were behind the closed doors negotiating?

  (1715)  

    I'm sorry if I misunderstood.
    Are you asking me about the closed-door negotiations?
    Yes.
    How many negotiating sessions did members of your organization attend?
    I'm not aware that our members attended any closed-door negotiations.
    We just heard Mr. Shugart explain the Canadian delegation's perspective that they weren't obstructing negotiations there.
    You weren't participating in the negotiations. Isn't it fair to say that it's hearsay and that you're presenting what you believe to be testimony from other people who might have been in that room? You've heard none of this directly, but you'll make the allegation.
    Was Mr. Shugart, from the Canadian delegation, lying here today when he suggested they weren't obstructing the negotiations?
    Well, was the head of the German delegation lying when she said they didn't see the Canadian position as constructive?
    I asked you a question, Mr. Lavoie, and I'd like an answer. I asked a very direct question.
    Point of order, Mr. Chairman. I don't think it's appropriate to be badgering the witness.
    I asked a very direct question.
    Mr. Chairman, the witness should be able to answer a question and not be badgered.
    I will ask Mr. Watson to let him answer.
    I appreciate that.
    But, you know, when you play with fire you can expect to get fire back.
    I don't understand. I'm sorry, Mr. Chairman, I don't know what you're suggesting. Mr. Chairman, maybe you want to explain what you're suggesting.
    I was once like Mr. Lavoie. I respect what he has to say and obviously that is his style. I believe Mr. Watson has his style, and I think I'll let him proceed.
    Mr. Watson, if you could let him answer....
    Thank you, Mr. Chair. I hope it will be a direct answer.
    Thank you, Mr. Regan, for interrupting.
    Could you repeat your question?
     The question was about hearing Mr. Shugart testify today that Canadians weren't obstructing the negotiations. You've made claims about the negotiating sessions, but weren't in any of them to be able to witness whether there was obstruction or not.
    Are you accusing the Canadian delegation, and Mr. Shugart specifically here today, of lying?
    No, I am not accusing him of lying. That's the direct answer to your question.
    If his definition of obstruction is different from ours, and if his definition of success is different from ours, or—
    It's not about interpretation, but about the quality of evidence and whether what you are saying is direct or indirect.
    I would say the negotiating partners that were dealing with Canada also have a legitimate view about whether or not Canada was obstructing the negotiating process.
    I'd like to get to the issue of the Fossil of the Day Awards.
    Mr. Geoff Regan: You get it today.
    Some hon. members: Oh, oh!
    Mr. Jeff Watson: Thank you, Mr. Regan.
    Do you want to keep interrupting? I didn't interrupt you, Mr. Regan.
    Since you were handing these out in Bali, do you know how many Fossil of the Day Awards your Liberal Party was awarded between 1999 and 2005?
    I'm not here as a member of the Liberal Party, so it's not my party as I sit here—and I don't know.
    There were 89 of them, Mr. Chairman, just for the record. That was second place only to George W. Bush—and just ahead of Saudi Arabia.
    So I would suggest it's probably a little rich for you to come here and criticize the government on climate change when you should probably be pointing the finger at your own party—or your previous party—the Liberal Party.
    I understand that one of the members registered as part of the youth delegation and Climate Action Network Canada, Sasha Pippenger—I think I have that correct—encouraged people to place prank calls to a member of the Canadian delegation in Bali.
    I'd be happy to table with the chair and the clerk a copy of a blog that encouraged this, something—I don't know about you—I think we regard very differently in this country.
    Would you admit that encouraging prank calls to Canadian delegates is a bit juvenile?
     I would, if that's what we did, but could you read me the part of the blog where she mentions crank calls, please?
    Yes. Do we have the copy? Was it Dimitri Soudas? Let me get back to that in a second while we find the quote.
    I'm happy to answer that question, even without you getting the quote.
    Let me get the quote for you here in a moment.
    I noticed that on the UNFCCC's official website, Climate Action Network Canada, part of their delegation included--I'm just going to read a few names to you here--Mr. Brian Guest, president of Boxfish Consulting Limited, who worked in Paul Martin's Prime Minister's Office and helped write Stéphane Dion's “Project Green”. We also have Mr. Jacques Ouimette, senior adviser to the leader of the opposition. Interestingly enough, there is Ms. Dahlia Stein, senior policy adviser to the leader of the opposition, and Mr. André Lamarre, senior adviser to the leader of the opposition. It is a very interesting list of non-partisans who were part of this delegation.
    Mr. McGuinty, I think you said....

  (1720)  

    Are you going to wrap up?
    Yes, I will.
    Is this a question?
    Yes, there is a question here, Mr. Lavoie. You've made statements to this committee that this is entirely non-partisan, yet we have a laundry list of Liberals, including those with direct links to the leader of the official opposition's office, who were part of what's supposed to be a non-partisan group. Do you want to withdraw your statement that in fact these groups were non-partisan, or is it clear, either through your personal involvement--
    No. I re-emphasize it emphatically. Sorry to interrupt.
    I think the proof is clear, then.
    Mr. Watson, you're well over your time.
    You may answer very briefly, Mr. Lavoie.
    If I could answer that, that would be fair.
    First, the number of individuals we mentioned is--if I were even to use this reasoning--such a small proportion of the actual membership, that there's no way, Mr. Chairman, that anyone could claim that this is what makes a group partisan. The CYD has a card-carrying Albertan member of the Conservative Party. We've had people who are organizers for the NDP. And as I said, we have people who are completely apolitical. So this group is non-partisan. I'm keenly aware of the non-partisanship of the group because politics was not often discussed.
    Good. Thank you very much.
    We'll go to Mr. McGuinty.
    These are five-minute rounds. We'll go as quickly as possible, and I'll keep you tight to your time.
    Thanks, Mr. Chair.
    I'd like to begin by apologizing to the witnesses for that unfortunate line of questioning.
    Instead of racing to the bottom, I'd like to go back to a couple of important points Mr. Drexhage made about the science. You gave testimony today, Mr. Drexhage, that was really quite alarming, particularly the report you were citing on the analysis that's been put out. I'm assuming that in Bali with the IPCC report, the OECD countries have been requested, given the latest science, to have targets of 25% to 40% below 1990 levels by 2020. Secondly, you talked about the IPCC saying clearly to the OECD countries, and to the world at large, that 40% to 70% of our species may face potential extinction. Both of those would have been pre-eminently visible during the Bali conference. Is that correct?
    Yes, they would have. To clarify, it's not the business of the IPCC to define what represents dangerous anthropogenic interference or dangerous human interference with the global climate system. That ultimately is a political decision.
    There's been a growing constituency begun by the small island states in the EU who say that two degrees is dangerous, and there are a number of other countries that say, well, hold on here--you're talking about stopping everything in its tracks, so let's get a little realistic about this, etc. That still is under negotiation.
    If you do want a two-degree world, if that's what your goal is--and that's not been decided yet by the global community--then it would likely require two things. Number one, 25% to 40% reductions by 2020 of 1990 levels on the part of OECD countries, and in 2020 already you're going to be seeing a significant departure from business-as-usual for major developing countries. If it's just going to be OECD doing it alone without developing countries, we won't get anything close to two degrees. Let's be clear about that.
     I hear you loud and clear.
    In your time there, then.... You were in Bali for several weeks, if I recall?

  (1725)  

    I was there for a couple of weeks, yes.
    So you would have interfaced regularly with the official Canadian delegation, with Mr. Shugart and Mr. McGovern and others?
    Yes, at times, but not an awful lot.
    I agree that the access wasn't as great as I would have hoped, and they were a relatively small delegation who were constantly away in negotiations, so frankly I didn't have as much time to—
    The traditional pattern has been, for two decades, that there are morning briefings for the Canadian delegation.
    Right.
    Mr. Henderson, you have participated in that in the past, and Mr. Lavoie, you may have also. I certainly have.
    Tell me, did that not occur in this...?
    No.
    Okay.
    Could you see reflected in the Canadian position anywhere in Bali these two core IPCC-recommended approaches: first, 25% to 40% cuts, and second, the one on the question of extinction of species? Was that in any way brought in to help inform the Canadian approach and Canadian position in Bali?
    I can't explicitly recall, for example, the minister making mention of that in the intervention he made on behalf of Canada.
    I would note, though, that there is a very significant reference to the IPCC findings, which Canada finally agreed to. That's the last message or positioning that the youth delegation was referring to. It actually happened after the Bali plan of action. There was an additional decision about the responsibility of Kyoto parties to strengthen their targets, and there was a much fuller reference there to the IPCC findings on the impacts.
    Initially there were concerns expressed by Canada and Russia about it. After the first intervention and a number of other interventions that came through saying we need to keep it there, including interventions by the EU and others, the minister said in his second intervention that he would allow it to go ahead, so it went ahead.
    So I would say that Canada allowed those discussions and those findings to go ahead; it was a passive role, not an active one.
    Thanks very much, Mr. Drexhage.
    Thanks, Mr. McGuinty and Mr. Drexhage.
    Mr. Watson.
    Thank you, Mr. Chair.
    Mr. Lavoie, I'm going to come back to you for a moment. Let's talk about Mr. Dion's last year as environment minister.
    The Climate Action Network, whose delegation you were a part of in Bali, received funding from the government. You wouldn't happen to know how much that was, would you?
    No, I don't.
    According to a copy of the Public Accounts of Canada, it was $1.78 million.
    Just to review some of the facts here about the who's who for Bali, we have Mr. Frank Guest, who worked in the Martin PMO with Stéphane Dion on climate change policy and his Project Green. We have Stéphane Dion, who gave $1.7 million to the Climate Action Network of Canada, whose delegation you were a part of. We certainly have a list of partisan involvements as far as your own individual activities are concerned, Monsieur Lavoie. We have John Bennett, a member of the Climate Action Network, if I can go further; he is a former director sharing office space with the Canadian Centre for Policy Ingenuity, where Mr. Guest is on the board of directors. I will table that as well. Thirty members of this Bali youth delegation are registered to Climate Action Network, along with Mr. Guest, as well as three members of Stéphane Dion's personal staff.
    If it looks like a Liberal front organization and it smells like one, it probably is one.
    Frankly, that's insulting to Katrina Genuis, who is a card-carrying Conservative Party member.
    Some hon. members: Oh, oh.
    Mr. Olivier Jarvis Lavoie: Is that one member less valuable to you than any other member of your party?
     I would also suggest she doesn't work in the leader of the official opposition's office.
    Mr. Chair, I would ask, would you consider that the membership of Katrina Genuis in the Conservative Party is worthless because she is on our delegation and that the delegation was accredited through an organization that has individuals who are Liberals and has individuals who are of other parties as well? I don't take the point.

  (1730)  

     I possibly agree with you. I don't think this is what we're talking about. We're talking about the Bali conference. I would ask Mr. Watson to try to keep it to that as well, please.
    I did. These are the players in Bali, Mr. Chair.
    You're finished, Mr. Watson?
    I am finished. Thank you.
    Unless members want to carry this on, I believe our time is up.
    I would like to advise members that Mr. Scarpaleggia has a motion, which we'll deal with probably in the last 15 minutes of our next meeting, as we have witnesses coming. I believe you've all received a copy of that. We will deal with that at the end of the meeting, next meeting.
    Thank you very much, guests, for being here.