Wednesday, November 6, 2002 Back The Halifax Herald Limited

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The Canadian Press
The Sierra Club of Canada announced the launch of its pro-Kyoto campaign Tuesday with the help of prominent Canadians in Toronto. A total of 150 prominent Canadians signed a pro-Kyoto declaration at the news conference. From left are: R.H. Thompson, Alex Tilley, Eric Beresford, David Hallman, Bill Phipps, Jillian Deacon, Cathy Jones, Greg Malone, Elizabeth May, Nancy Ruth, and Elizabeth Shepherd.

Emissions plans lacking
Scientist blasts Ottawa's tack, says Alberta's proposal weak

By Darcy Henton / The Canadian Press

Edmonton - A leading Alberta scientist on a mission to bolster Alberta's alternative plan to tackle greenhouse gas emissions says Ottawa's lack of a detailed plan is disgusting.

"We're as angry as (Alberta Premier) Ralph Klein that we've seen no details of a (federal) plan," said David Schindler, an internationally recognized, award-winning scientist at the University of Alberta.

"I know the federal government has been hearing about this problem for 20 years and it's disgusting they don't have a plan. But if Alberta is going to supplant them with a plan, it has got to be a stronger plan."

Schindler made the comments Tuesday at Government House where he briefed Alberta Environment Minister Lorne Taylor on the impacts of global warming on Alberta.

He was invited to meet Taylor after 65 Alberta scientists complained the province had not involved them in drafting an alternative to the controversial Kyoto protocol.

Alberta and other provinces have found the lack of detail in the federal government's Kyoto plan disconcerting, but Ottawa has rejected Alberta's action plan as not being tough enough.

Taylor said after the 90-minute meeting that he has invited Schindler and other scientists to help the province fine-tune its plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

"We might not agree in the end, but I expect that expertise is going to help us solve the problem," he said. "I will listen to whomever wants to contribute in a meaningful fashion."

He told reporters he believed the scientists could make a major contribution to the project.

But Taylor and Schindler still appear to be on separate pages when it comes to timelines and targets for emissions reductions.

Schindler said it is essential that any new plan has Kyoto-like targets because Canada and particularly Alberta will be hard hit if greenhouse gases contribute to significant future global warming.

The Kyoto protocol gives Canada until 2012 to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by six per cent below 1990 levels.

"We like the idea of a made-in-Alberta plan, but we would like to see it as strong as the Kyoto plan because if the climate continues warming we're going to be in deep trouble in this province," Schindler said.

"We need to get busy and get (reductions of) at least 25 to 30 per cent of greenhouse gas emissions by 2010."

He said the flaw in Alberta's plan is that it could actually increase emissions by 2020 if industry thrives.

Taylor said he can't see Alberta making those kind of cuts.

"I still do not believe the fixed timeline and the fixed targets of Kyoto are achievable."

Schindler said Taylor has to do more than listen to oil companies since his own constituency in southern Alberta's ranchland will bear the brunt of global warming.


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Copyright 2002 The Halifax Herald Limited