House of Commons Hansard #114 of the 40th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was copenhagen.

Topics

Opposition Motion—Climate Change
Business of Supply
Government Orders

November 20th, 2009 / 10:05 a.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

The Hon. member for Montmorency—Charlevoix—Haute-Côte-Nord on a point of order.

Opposition Motion—Climate Change
Business of Supply
Government Orders

10:05 a.m.

Bloc

Michel Guimond Montmorency—Charlevoix—Haute-Côte-Nord, QC

Mr. Speaker, there have been discussions among all parties and I believe you would find unanimous consent for the following motion:

That, at the conclusion of today's debate on the opposition motion in the name of the Member from Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie, all questions necessary to dispose of the motion be deemed put and a recorded division deemed requested and deferred to Tuesday, November 24, 2009, at the expiry of the time provided for Oral Questions.

Opposition Motion—Climate Change
Business of Supply
Government Orders

10:05 a.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

Does the hon. member for Montmorency—Charlevoix—Haute-Côte-Nord have unanimous consent of the House to present the motion?

Opposition Motion—Climate Change
Business of Supply
Government Orders

10:05 a.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Opposition Motion—Climate Change
Business of Supply
Government Orders

10:05 a.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

The House has heard the terms of the motion. Is it the pleasure of the House to adopt the motion?

Opposition Motion—Climate Change
Business of Supply
Government Orders

10:05 a.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Opposition Motion—Climate Change
Business of Supply
Government Orders

10:05 a.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

(Motion agreed to)

Opposition Motion—Climate Change
Business of Supply
Government Orders

10:05 a.m.

Bloc

Bernard Bigras Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie, QC

moved:

That, in the opinion of the House, Canada should commit to propose at the Copenhagen conference on climate change:

1. reducing, through absolute reduction targets, greenhouse gas emissions in industrialized countries to 25% lower than 1990 levels, by 2020;

2. the necessity of limiting the rise in global temperatures to less than 2oC higher than in the preindustrial era; and

3. supporting the developing countries in their efforts to reduce greenhouse gases and adapt to climate change.

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to speak on this Bloc Québécois opposition day motion regarding climate change. We have already been hit by a food crisis and a financial crisis, and evidence shows that the economic, social and environmental impact of climate change is getting worse and worse. As a result, we must shoulder our responsibilities and ensure that Canada becomes a leader in the fight against climate change. This motion seeks to ensure that Canada, which is becoming more and more isolated on the international scene, does not show up empty-handed in Copenhagen this December.

That is why the Bloc Québécois is moving the following motion:

That, in the opinion of the House, Canada should commit to propose at the Copenhagen conference on climate change:

1. reducing, through absolute reduction targets, greenhouse gas emissions in industrialized countries to 25% lower than 1990 levels, by 2020;

2. the necessity of limiting the rise in global temperatures to less than 2oC higher than in the preindustrial era; and

3. supporting the developing countries in their efforts to reduce greenhouse gases and adapt to climate change.

On October 22, 2008, the United Nations Environment Program introduced its “green new deal”, an initiative to stimulate the economy by encouraging investment in clean technology and natural resources. Climate change makes entire populations and ecosystems more vulnerable by making them less resilient, and it has a direct impact on populations that depend heavily on natural resources to meet their needs. For a long time, we have looked at climate change as a technical problem, but now it is clear that it is inextricably linked to social, cultural, economic and political problems.

The scientists of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, or IPCC, agree that if we want to minimize the magnitude of the disasters expected to befall the planet, we must prevent average global temperatures from increasing to more than 2oC above pre-industrial averages. That means that we need absolute greenhouse gas reduction targets to bring emissions down to between 25% and 40% below 1990 levels by 2020.

The government has stubbornly refused to implement a plan guided by current scientific data, so we feel that Parliament must now make up for the lack of government leadership in the fight against climate change.

This green economy initiative is designed to create green jobs and establish policies and market tools to accelerate the transition to a sustainable economy. The UN gave nations 24 months to prepare a plan for making this essential transition. Canada must answer the UN's call. Unfortunately, Canada is still lagging behind. The Pembina Institute, which looks for alternative solutions to environmental problems, last spring issued a damning report on Canadian policies. The U.S. administration, on the other hand, has invested six times more per capita than the Conservative government in environmental research and the development of new technologies. The U.S. economic recovery plan that Barack Obama signed included nearly $76 billion in spending in areas as diverse as energy efficiency in public and residential buildings, high-efficiency vehicles and the search for alternatives to oil and coal.

For example, nearly $24 billion will be invested in research and development to electrify cars and the American government fleet, while Canada announced only $500 million.

While the Obama administration announced nearly $2 billion in tax credits to make American homes more energy efficient, as well as a series of measures totalling $25 billion, the Canadian government will invest $800 million in this area. Similarly, the U.S. will spend 14 times more per capita than Canada on renewable energies such as solar and wind power. Unfortunately, the saying that when we look elsewhere, we feel better about ourselves no longer applies.

In addition, according to the United Nations environment program, which set out to determine what proportion of economic stimulus funding went to green investments, including infrastructure to preserve water quality and renewable green energy projects such as solar, wind and geothermal power, the Republic of Korea leads the world, as it has invested 80% of its economic recovery money in environmental solutions such as renewable energies, low-emission vehicles and rail.

China has allocated 34% of its investments to green solutions. These two countries lead the pack of the world's green public investors. Canada, in the meantime, is second to last on this list ahead of Japan and Spain, with a measly 8%.

There is no use looking for the good things the Conservative government has done for the environment. Not only has it never understood the urgent need for action, it simply does not believe in the importance of fighting climate change. Fighting global warming invariably means changing our mindset about energy, especially when it comes to fossil fuels. We will reach our objectives by balancing the economy and the environment.

A recent joint study by prominent economists and ecologists showed that it was possible to reduce the country's greenhouse gas emissions by 25% below 1990 levels using absolute targets. Not only is this achievable, but it will only have a small impact on the Canadian economy. Rather than consider these proposals objectively, the Minister of the Environment described them as irresponsible and unacceptable. This goes to show that he is choosing to ignore the much higher cost of doing nothing about climate change.

By refusing to take any action, the Conservative government is choosing to protect polluters and place the burden on others, especially in Quebec.

Yesterday, more than 200 companies in Quebec joined forces with other investors around the world who are calling for a sound and ambitious commitment from governments. They are calling on the government for “immediate and deep economy-wide emission reduction commitments which are much higher than the global average reduction target” and which are supported by credible strategies.

According to these Quebec companies, economic development cannot be sustained for the long term if the climate is not stabilized. It is vital that we get out of this recession by laying a solid foundation of low carbon growth and by avoiding the trap of a high-carbon future.

Poor results in Copenhagen could cause a great deal of uncertainty and undermine confidence.

The world's entrepreneurs, investors and visionaries have quickly realized that when the time comes for humanity to make a number of choices, new technologies have extraordinary potential. And Quebec, like other environmental leaders, must seize these new opportunities offered by green energy and the development of alternative modes of transportation.

In March 2007, the Bloc Québécois put forward a plan to reduce our dependence on oil. Encouraging the use of alternative energies, modernizing industrial equipment, providing tax incentives for building renovations and heating system retrofits, and raising energy efficiency standards—these are tangible measures.

Last week, the Bloc Québécois demanded that the federal government allocate funds to encourage electric car research and marketing. Greenhouse gases attributable to road transportation are too significant for us to ignore this sector. Starting now, we must use all available tax mechanisms and the market instruments deemed affordable by the OECD in order to make the bold move into a more sustainable economy. Now is the time to make real choices and it is vital that we go green.

Despite the fact that action is urgently needed, the government has never stopped justifying its inaction by pointing fingers at the previous government's failure. From the very beginning, the government has pointed to the previous government's failure as the reason for its inaction. The reality is that they are pinning responsibility for the problem on the previous government in order to wash their hands of the matter and avoid making any commitment to reducing greenhouse gases.

The Conservatives have been in power for nearly four years now and they have given one thousand and one excuses for not taking up this fight, which is the greatest challenge of the 21st century.

The Conservative government rejected for the third time in four years the entry into force of credible regulations, thus preventing the Montreal carbon exchange from getting off the ground. And yet a real cap and trade system would make it possible for Quebec companies that have already made many efforts, in good faith, to reduce their environmental footprint and benefit from the credits to which they are entitled.

By establishing a plan based on a special reference year—2006 rather than 1990—and intensity targets not shared by anyone else, the Conservatives have voluntarily created an impasse with respect to the proposals made by the international community. This lack of leadership is unfortunately in keeping with the Conservative strategy on climate change, which can be traced back to 1997, when, during the Kyoto protocol negotiations, the Reform Party denied the existence of climate change. After making dramatic statements about the socialist nature of the Kyoto protocol, the Conservatives obviously did not hesitate to tarnish Canada's image and renege on its signature.

What we are seeing here is a charade, and the Conservatives are becoming more and more creative in coming up with new excuses. One of the most striking examples goes back to the Bali conference, when the Conservatives introduced the vague notion of “national circumstances”. Now they are using our harsh winters as an excuse to justify their inaction and suggesting that Canada should not have to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions as much as other countries.

The Conservative government is also accumulating awards. At the conference in Barcelona held from November 2 to 6, Canada came first in every category of the "fossil of the day" award, which is given to the countries that are impeding consensus the most. The Conservative government did everything it could to thwart negotiations on a new agreement for Copenhagen, and again came back with the excuse of national circumstances, which basically can be summed up by the fact that Canada is colder, our population is growing and Canada is developing the oil sands. Thus, Canada has opened the door to any excuse and is giving carte blanche to other countries, like China and India, which could also be tempted to invoke their particular circumstances.

Last week, Canada was a sore loser at the APEC summit and was denounced by experts for refusing to set binding targets before the United Nations climate change conference in Copenhagen. Lastly, this week in Copenhagen, the Minister of the Environment announced that we should not expect the Conservative government to bring forward any regulations on greenhouse gas emissions immediately after that international summit on climate change.

That is the background to Canada's nihilistic strategy for fighting climate change.

We learned today that France, Denmark, Germany and Brazil are launching an extensive diplomatic campaign to mobilize the international community to meet challenging and ambitious targets. China and the United States want Copenhagen to be a success and have agreed to take real action against climate change. And now Russia has committed to targets similar to European ones that would cut its greenhouse gases by at least 20% based on 1990 levels, by 2020.

More and more countries are prepared to show leadership and seriously attack greenhouse gases. Canada is becoming increasingly isolated.

While most industrialized countries, which were initially among the most hesitant, are now showing leadership and getting serious about reducing greenhouse gas emissions in an effort to save the Copenhagen conference, the Conservative government is incurring the wrath of environmental groups and of all those who believe in showing goodwill.

The Conservative Party is recommending a 20% emissions reduction, in terms of intensity targets, by 2020 and 60% by 2050, using 2006 as the reference year. To be clear, this is equal to a 3% reduction by 2020 compared to 1990. By using 2006 as the reference year, the government does not seem to understand the importance of the fight against climate change. The reference year used in the Kyoto protocol is 1990.

I would remind the House that the Kyoto protocol was signed in 1997. Under that international agreement on climate change, Canada committed to reducing its greenhouse gas emissions by 6% by 2012, compared to 1990.

While Quebec has successfully reduced its greenhouse gas emissions by 1.6%, Canada, mainly because of its oil industry, has increased its emissions by 21.8%. That is why Canada is now recognized as the world's worst polluter. While Quebec also has everything to gain by reducing its oil dependence, which costs it billions of dollars every year, Canada defines itself as an oil nation. So it is not surprising that Canada is desperately trying to prevent a binding agreement from being reached in Copenhagen. What the Conservatives seem to be forgetting is that sooner or later, we will pay the price.

A Quebec aluminum company that has already reduced its greenhouse gas emissions by 15% in 1990 terms will have to agree to the same reduction in emission intensity as a company operating in the oil sands in Alberta, whose greenhouse gas emissions have doubled since 1990.

Furthermore, plans like this based on intensity targets will not utilize the full potential of a carbon exchange in Montreal. Companies will be allowed to reduce the intensity of their emissions without regard for their total emissions, and that reduces the attraction of the carbon credit market. This means that Quebec’s manufacturing industry will be doubly penalized because it will not benefit as much from its efforts as it would have under a system with absolute targets.

As I said, Canada must not show up empty-handed at the Copenhagen conference on climate change. It must come up with a proposal, which is why we are moving this motion. We are issuing a formal appeal to all parliamentarians, from the NDP to the Liberals, basically, to everyone who believes we must not give up in Copenhagen.

Opposition Motion—Climate Change
Business of Supply
Government Orders

10:25 a.m.

Liberal

David McGuinty Ottawa South, ON

Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the hon. member from the Bloc Québécois for the motion tabled today in the House and take this opportunity to ask him a few short questions about the status quo in Canada today.

For a few weeks now, or even months, we have been examining Bill C-311 in the Standing Committee on the Environment and Sustainable Development. The purpose of the bill is to address the need to have a real plan of action when it comes to climate change.

Perhaps my colleague could help Canadians and Quebeckers understand the question that has been asked of every expert witness who has appeared before the committee in the past few months. How is it that four years after the Prime Minister and the Conservatives came into office there is still no plan? Yesterday, we asked the Ambassador of the European Union that same question. The Europeans tabled a plan nearly 1,000 pages long, which is available on the Internet. Canada has no plan for climate change.

How is it possible that after four years, two or three weeks before the Copenhagen process is to be ratified and finalized, Canada has ended up in this situation?

Opposition Motion—Climate Change
Business of Supply
Government Orders

10:25 a.m.

Bloc

Bernard Bigras Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie, QC

Mr. Speaker, we have to remember that, since 1997, Canada's approach to climate change has been based on a voluntary approach, on agreements with Canadian companies and industrial sectors to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Now we have to face the fact that Canada's approach, the federal approach to fighting climate change, has produced no desirable results since 1997. Now we have a government that not only has no plan, but denies the existence of climate change.

Since 1997, that party, which was in opposition and then came to power, has believed that climate change is the result of a natural phenomenon. This despite all of the scientific studies and all of the IPCC reports indicating that 95% of the changes observed are related to human activity. So it is not surprising that we now find ourselves without a climate change plan.

However, in the course of the committee's study of the NDP's Bill C-311, we heard from scientists and environmentalists. They all told us that we have to prevent global temperatures from rising any higher than 2oC above average temperatures in the pre-industrial era, which is what this motion proposes.

Today, I would like the member who asked the question to recognize that we have to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 25% below 1990 levels by 2020 and that we need strong consensus among opposition parties to make up for the lack of leadership the government will show in Copenhagen.

I would therefore urge my colleague to read the motion carefully and to get on board with the Bloc Québécois so that our voice in Copenhagen will be strong enough to make the international community understand that this government and its positions do not represent the wishes of the majority of the people of Quebec and Canada, a majority represented by opposition parties.

I urge my colleague to support this motion, which I believe is in line with the wishes of most Quebeckers and Canadians.

Opposition Motion—Climate Change
Business of Supply
Government Orders

10:30 a.m.

Langley
B.C.

Conservative

Mark Warawa Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, I listened closely to the comments of my friend and colleague across the way, as well as the Liberal member's comments, and much of what was said was not accurate.

I want the member to comment on what we have all heard from every witness at the committee that has been studying Bill C-311. Every witness said that there should be a continental approach. The government's plan has been to have a continental approach.

Yesterday, we heard from witnesses from the EU and the U.K. who shared how Europe has a collective target. Twenty-seven different countries are within the EU target and they are doing it collectively. Some are higher and some are lower in their commitment but they have a collective. There was a real logic. I asked the witnesses why they would not do it separately and whether there was not a logic to do it collectively and they agreed that it should be done collectively.

This is what Canada is doing now through the clean energy dialogue with President Obama and the U.S. administration. A strong leadership from Canada is providing for a collective North American strategy. Together, we are harmonizing our approach to tackle the issue of climate change.

Why is the member opposed? Why does he continually vote against and speak against having a North American collective harmonized target for fighting climate change?

Opposition Motion—Climate Change
Business of Supply
Government Orders

10:30 a.m.

Bloc

Bernard Bigras Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie, QC

Mr. Speaker, we are not opposed to having a harmonized North American approach.

Let us look at the initiatives that have been taken since the new U.S. President took office. The high point in the Obama administration has been the economic recovery plan. The United States decided to invest six times more per capita than Canada in renewable energies. It is clear that we do not have a government that wants to harmonize with American policies. When it comes to economic development, we have a government that wants to keep on living in the stone age by continuing to give tax incentives to the oil industry and refusing to introduce regulations. It knows full well that regulations on climate change would offend its economic and political base in the west. That is a fact.

Here in Canada, we have always favoured the European model, under which Canada negotiates a single greenhouse gas reduction target on the international stage, but individual provinces have different targets based on specific criteria. That is exactly what we want. We should apply the European model here in Canada, so that we can have a shared and separate approach and recognize the efforts that businesses in Quebec have made since 1990.

But the government is carrying on with an approach and a policy that favour only one sector of Canada's economy: the oil industry. As I said, this is because Canada is an oil nation. In both politics and international negotiations, it always looks to its own interests. And the interests of the Government of Canada are oil interests.

Opposition Motion—Climate Change
Business of Supply
Government Orders

10:30 a.m.

NDP

Bruce Hyer Thunder Bay—Superior North, ON

Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank the hon. member for his very thoughtful and very forward-thinking comments today on his motion.

I would like to ask him a simple question. Perhaps he could say a bit more about how the Conservatives want to wait primarily for the United States and also would like us to be last of all the 192 countries around the world. It seems that they want to see where the political winds are blowing across the entire planet before they worry about the winds of climate change. Does this make sense?

I would love to hear the member's thoughts on why the Conservatives are taking this reactive rather than proactive approach.

Opposition Motion—Climate Change
Business of Supply
Government Orders

10:35 a.m.

Bloc

Bernard Bigras Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie, QC

Mr. Speaker, we must recognize that, in the past, Canada provided a certain degree of leadership in environmental matters on the international stage. In recent days, weeks and months, the government has not responded to the call of the UN, which has proposed a green new deal to move towards a greener and more sustainable economy.

Even today, countries such as Denmark, but also China and the United States, want a comprehensive and immediate agreement in Copenhagen. that is a very different approach from the one taken by the Conservative government to date. While France and Brazil undertake major diplomatic efforts to convince industrialized countries to adopt greenhouse gases reductions of 25%, we have a government that is ignoring the appeals of its partner to the south. It is also ignoring the appeals of France, Germany, Denmark, China and all countries that want to put together a strong agreement in Copenhagen.

This country depends on its oil resources. It is not prepared to engage in a necessary shift that will allow Canada's economy to be competitive as we enter the 21st century and to create real green jobs.

If Canada does not understand this reality, if it is not prepared to uphold a rigorous agreement on climate change in Copenhagen, I can guarantee one thing: Quebec will be in Copenhagen to defend renewable energy and it will convince the international community that Canada's beliefs are not those of Quebec.

Opposition Motion—Climate Change
Business of Supply
Government Orders

10:35 a.m.

Langley
B.C.

Conservative

Mark Warawa Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, I will be splitting my time with one of the most respected members of Parliament in this House, the Parliamentary Secretary for Status of Women.

Climate change is one of the most important public policy issues and global challenges of our time. That is why the Government of Canada is taking a multi-pronged approach to addressing the challenge of climate change through domestic, continental and international efforts.

The government has committed to reduce Canada's total greenhouse gas emissions by 20% from 2006 levels by 2020. By 2050 we are planning for a 60% to 70% reduction.

This government will reduce greenhouse gases in a way that will achieve real results. Canada's economic action plan, tabled as part of budget 2009, is very clear on that.

The plan builds on previous investments by providing almost $4 billion in additional funding to support a cleaner and more sustainable environment and to help meet Canada's climate change objectives. This includes $1 billion over five years for a new green infrastructure fund to support projects such as the generation of sustainable energy.

Under the clean energy fund that was launched in May of this year, another $1 billion is provided over five years for clean energy research and demonstration projects, including carbon capture and storage. We are world leaders in this technology. This support alone is expected to generate a total investment in clean technologies of at least $2.5 billion. Per capita we are number one in the world on carbon capture and storage.

The government is committed to achieving our target by taking actions that are comparable to those of other industrialized countries in the global fight against climate change.

South of the border, the American clean energy and security act, also known as the Waxman-Markey bill, has passed the House of Representatives. This bill sets a greenhouse gas emission reduction target of 17% below 2005 levels by 2020. The Kerry-Boxer legislation has commenced its journey through the U.S. Senate. The Kerry-Boxer bill currently talks of a 20% reduction below 2005 levels by 2020. Both of these bills are similar to our Canadian target of a 20% reduction by 2020.

The U.S. bills require utilities to generate 15% of electricity from renewable sources and show annual energy savings of 5% from efficiency measures.

Canada has set a very ambitious energy objective. By 2020, 90% of Canada's electricity needs will be provided by non-emitting sources such as hydro, nuclear, clean coal or wind power.

This ambitious clean energy objective, as well as a host of other policies and measures, are clearly demonstrating our commitment to undertake efforts that are comparable to those of our international partners.

Internationally, Canada is working actively and constructively through the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. At the 15th meeting of the Conference of the Parties in Copenhagen, we will work with our international partners to lay the foundation and the framework for an effective and ambitious post-2012 global climate change agreement.

Canada's position at COP15 in Copenhagen is built on five fundamental principles. We will focus on the development of an effective international climate change agreement that, one, balances environmental protection and economic prosperity; two, has a long-term focus to fight climate change; three, supports the development and deployment of clean technologies like carbon capture and storage; four, supports constructive and ambitious global action; and five, includes commitments from all major economies. We all have to participate in this fight against climate change.

This government's resolve to have a successful outcome in Copenhagen is evident in its international engagement in a myriad of international negotiations and meetings.

The Prime Minister and the Minister of the Environment actively participated in discussing the challenges of climate change with leaders from the G8, the G20, and the 17-member United States-led Major Economies Forum on Energy and Climate that was launched by President Obama in March of this year, as well as with leaders of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, and most recently, at the pre-COP15 ministerial meetings in Copenhagen that the minister just returned from. It was hard work along with our international partners, and it was very successful.

Earlier this year the G8 leaders agreed to an aggregate global greenhouse gas emissions reduction target of at least 50% by 2050. This implies that global emissions will need to peak as soon as possible and decline thereafter. On top of this, the G8 leaders also committed to reducing the aggregate greenhouse gas emissions from developed countries by 80% or more by 2050 from those of 1990 or more recent years.

In July of this year, the leaders of the Major Economies Forum committed member countries to work together before Copenhagen to identify a global goal for substantially reducing global emissions by 2050. The declaration also announced the establishment of a global partnership to drive transformational low-carbon, climate-friendly technologies. The partnership's goal is to dramatically increase public sector investments in research, development and demonstration of these technologies, while recognizing the importance of private investment, public-private partnerships and international cooperation.

At both the G8 and the Major Economies Forum, Canada and other world leaders acknowledged the broad scientific view that the increase in global average temperature above pre-industrial levels ought not to exceed 2°C.

The Government of Canada recognizes that robust domestic actions and international engagement are not enough. Any international agreement to fight climate change will need the participation of the United States. Without the United States, it will be impossible to stabilize greenhouse gas emissions in the atmosphere at a safe level.

Given the environmental, economic and energy interdependence between Canada and the U.S., we need to ensure a harmonized approach within a continental commitment to fight climate change. I am glad that the member said he does support the government's commitment to a continental approach. I am actually quite surprised, because traditionally he has voted against that.

We are working with the United States to create an effective North American climate change regime with national policies that are harmonized and consistent as well as a continental system composed of national policies and regulations that are equal in value and of similar effect, so we foster fair competition and maintain free trade in the integrated North American market.

We are well down the path of policy harmonization. In February President Obama and our Prime Minister announced the establishment of the Canada-U.S. clean energy dialogue. This will serve to enhance collaboration in the development and deployment of clean energy technologies to reduce greenhouse gases and combat climate change.

Our government has been very clear on our commitment to fight climate change. Our commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 20% by 2020 is very ambitious and comparable to all the other industrialized countries. We are working closely with President Obama and the U.S. administration through the clean energy dialogue to ensure that all of our energy policies will be harmonized through a continental approach.

Canada wants an international binding target that includes all the major emitters. One hundred and ninety-two countries will be at the negotiation table in Copenhagen. Our government will ensure that any agreement that comes forward will include Canada's economic, geographic and industrial realities. We will not sign a deal that is bad for Canada. Quebec is part of Canada.

I have appreciated this opportunity to describe Canada's commitment to a new international agreement on climate change. We are confident that our ambitious actions and committed leadership on this important topic on the domestic, continental and international fronts will contribute toward the collective effort to address this global challenge.