Canada earmarks C$815 mln for emissions plans
OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canada's Conservative government threw more than C$815 million ($830 million) in its budget to initiatives aimed at curbing global warming, including carbon capture, storage and trading, as well as investments in public transit.
But it stopped well short of tightening its commitments to reduce emissions.
Among the measures, the government said it will spend C$250 million on carbon capture and storage technology, most of it on projects in Saskatchewan. It also earmarked C$66 million over two years for setting up a carbon trading system.
The Pembina Institute, an environmental think-tank, panned the government's plans for not going far enough.
"It's a missed opportunity ... I think Canadians will be disappointed," Clare Demerse, senior policy analyst with the group, said.
Demerse said spending C$66 million to set up a carbon market will do little unless the government of Prime Minister Stephen Harper also drops its opposition to mandatory caps on emissions, which are needed to set prices.
British Columbia and Manitoba are working with a coalition of U.S. states to set up a regional system with mandatory caps.
Finance Minister Jim Flaherty said in the budget that to help with public- and private-sector plans to ship carbon dioxide emissions to storage sites from major industrial plants, Ottawa will reduce the capital cost allowance rate for pipelines and compression gear that would be needed.
An official with an industry group planning such networks said such a move is an example what will be needed to get projects under way in a new market. Continued...