And now for a realistic approach to protecting our Environment. A plan that can actually be attained. A Made-in-Canada solution that will actually reduce Canada?s emissions. A plan that will benefit farmers.
This week, after an historic meeting in Regina between federal and provincial ministers responsible for renewable fuels, the federal Minister for the Environment, Rona Ambrose, announced that all fuel in Canada must contain five percent renewable fuel by 2010.
So what does this mean in terms of addressing climate change and air quality? Bear with me while I run through the complicated yet impressive numbers:
Biodiesel fuel reduces greenhouse gases by 75-80 percent per litre compared to conventional diesel. The use of cellulose-based ethanol yields 75-80 percent less greenhouse gases than regular gasoline. And grain and corn-based ethanol yields a 40 percent reduction in greenhouse gases.
Overall, the Conservative government?s commitment adds up to this: a five percent biodiesel goal means a 3.0 megatonne emission reduction and a five percent ethanol blend means a 2.6 megatonne emission reduction.
Compare this to the past 13 years of environmental failures. It was the former Liberal government that, with great fanfare but little else, signed onto the Kyoto Accord. Yet under their watch emissions actually skyrocketed. By 2004, Canada?s emissions were nearly 35 percent above our Kyoto targets!
The Liberal plan consisted of working towards those targets not by actually reducing emissions but by buying ?hot air? emission credits from other countries. The Conservative government refuses to send your tax dollars outside the country to buy hot air credits.
In order to meet the Kyoto emission targets that the Liberals negotiated, we would have to immediately shut down every car, truck, bus, plane and train in the country!
So do you want a national environmental policy based upon a decade-long public relations stunt or an environmental plan that?s firmly based upon realistic targets and includes measured results?
The federal-provincial agreement on biofuel commits to the production of 3.1 billion litres of ethanol and biodiesel by 2010, more than 12 times the amount the country now produces. And it can be done.
Canada?s agriculture industry is well-positioned and keen to take part in this initiative. Our farmers can produce the grain, canola, corn and other crops required to reach the five percent biofuel commitment. What?s more, research is currently underway for turning forest waste into biofuel.
This holds tremendous potential for our local forest industry, particularly given the increase in waste produced due to the Mountain Pine Beetle epidemic.
This is just one step our Conservative government has taken towards meeting our environmental commitments made during the election campaign. In our very first budget last month, we invested $2-billion towards our Made-in-Canada environmental plan.
We have also invested $1.3-billion in public transit and infrastructure and set up a tax credit to encourage more Canadians to use public transit.
The Conservative government is continuing to review all federal environmental programs to ensure they reflect current research and realistic goals. With this biofuel announcement, we?ve also proven that far from killing Canadian industry, cleaning-up our environment offers new opportunities throughout our economy.