March 19, 2007

Chemical industry says Alberta's GHG plan penalizes the wrong companies

OTTAWA, ONT-Canada's chemical industry has called Alberta's plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions the right idea that penalizes the wrong companies. "First, it doesn't recognize our excellent track record of reducing emissions over the past 15 years," said Richard Paton, president and CEO of the Canadian Chemical Producers' Association (CCPA). As part of the industry's Responsible Care(R) initiative, chemical companies have been tracking and reducing greenhouse gases since, "and are already well below Kyoto in this industry," Paton noted, adding, "Alberta's announcement treats laggards the same as the best performers in the world." He further pointed out that "we are being asked to make greenhouse gas reductions by the end of this year. This leaves no time for making the technological changes required and the net result will be that Alberta won't see real emissions reductions any quicker. Instead, Alberta companies will have to start paying into a fund, which is essentially a carbon tax. Unless you shut down production, there's no way to reduce emissions in a dramatic way overnight." Paton contrasted this plan with a schedule set out by the federal government "where companies can upgrade their technology with each new capital investment over a nine year period to 2015. In this way, real reductions can actually be achieved," he said.

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