Madam Speaker, I am pleased to rise in this debate. I am going to lay out the effective systematic measures our government has delivered to deal with climate change.
Internationally, Canada joined the Copenhagen accord, a significant breakthrough. Thanks to Canada's efforts, major emitters have committed to climate change action for the first time in history. Canada pledged in the accord economy-wide emission reductions by 2020 of 17% below 2005 levels.
Copenhagen may have generated the most public attention, but it is only one part of our government's strategy to combat climate change, which includes extensive work from the departments of the environment, transport, industry, public works, agriculture, foreign affairs and natural resources.
Another crucial part of our approach to climate change is our government's ambitious conservation initiatives. Parks are not only a spectacular part of Canada's natural heritage and a habitat for many species but they also help to combat the effects of greenhouse gases.
We recently created a new 11,000 square kilometre national park at Mealy Mountain in Labrador. Last year we expanded Nahanni National Park in the Northwest Territories by more than 30,000 square kilometres. Our close partnership with the Nature Conservancy of Canada has already resulted in the protection of more than 300,000 hectares of sensitive areas across the country.
The government's view is that Canada's ability to forge a strong national policy is significantly enhanced if we equitably accommodate differing energy and environmental profiles across our vast land. That means ensuring that provinces and territories can implement whichever initiatives work best for their circumstances, as long as they avoid measures with adverse environmental or economic consequences.
We have also consulted representatives from a wide range of industry associations and environmental groups, and we consult with first nations communities on all projects that affect them.
To reduce greenhouse gas emissions from new vehicles, we have introduced tough regulations that align with the U.S. standards beginning with the 2011 model year. This will create significant emission reductions, since transportation accounts for over one-quarter of Canada's total emissions.
Canada has long been committed to increasing energy efficiency. Building on the success of the eco-energy initiative, which was an investment of $4.1 billion, Canada achieved significant improvements in energy efficiency in every sector.
The eco-energy efficiency initiative, for example, is investing more than $675 million to promote smarter energy use in our homes, in our buildings and on the road.
In 2009 alone, the government earmarked $1 billion over two years to support renovations and energy retrofits to make social housing more energy efficient. We also introduced energy efficiency standards for a number of new products and set higher standards for several existing products.
Canada is a world leader in the use of renewable energy. Our electricity supply is the cleanest and the most renewable in the world. Renewable hydroelectricity accounts for 60% of our electricity generation, making Canada the world's second largest producer of hydro power. Our government is deliberately building that capacity.
Canadian federal and provincial governments have committed $11 billion to support clean energy and technology, just since 2008. Since 2005, annual federal investment in clean energy and technology has increased by about 50%.
A big part of Canada's stimulus spending in 2009 focused on developing and deploying clean energy technologies in areas where Canada can make the greatest contribution. These include carbon capture and storage, electricity grid efficiency, fuel-efficient vehicles, bio-energy and renewable energy such as wind, solar and geothermal.
We invested $1.5 billion in the eco-energy for biofuels program to encourage the development of a competitive domestic industry for renewable fuels. This provides an operating incentive to facilities that produce renewable alternatives to gas and diesel.
Canada's federal and provincial governments have committed approximately $3 billion in funding for carbon capture and storage alone.
We are going to support large-scale CCS demonstration projects in Canada. One of these will be the construction of one of the world's first fully integrated CCS projects, in partnership with the province of Alberta. The world is counting on Canada to make carbon capture and storage work.
Other federal investments in clean energy technology include $500 million to establish commercial-scale facilities for the production of next-generation renewable fuels; $1 billion over five years for improved public transit, sustainable energy and waste-management infrastructure; $1 billion over two years to support renovations and energy retrofits; and $3.4 billion for eco-energy initiatives, helping Canadians use energy more efficiently, boost renewable energy supplies and develop cleaner energy technologies.
We share a common environment with the United States. Our efforts will be harmonized, consistent with the close integration of our economies and our geographic proximity.
We have worked closely with the United States and launched the Canada-U.S. clean energy dialogue in February 2009 to collaborate in the development and deployment of clean energy technologies to reduce greenhouse gases.
On the continental stage, Canada is engaging with the United States and Mexico on key climate change programs. At their summit in August 2009, the leaders of our three countries agreed to collaborate in areas such as carbon capture and storage, gas flaring and energy efficiency. They also agreed to work toward a 21st century continental smart power grid.
We are also working actively with other international partners through multi-lateral channels, such as the G8 and the major economies forum and through bilateral agreements. For example, Canada and China signed a memo of understanding on climate change on December 6, 2009. This strengthens Canada-China co-operation in energy conservation and efficiency, renewable energy, CCS, methane recovery and sustainable land management.
Canada is also a member of the Asia-Pacific Partnership on Clean Development and Climate, a public-private partnership of seven countries that will accelerate the development and deployment of clean energy technologies. To date Canada has pledged $12 million to 28 projects under the APP.
We are also helping developing countries adapt to the adverse effects of climate change. The government has made significant contributions to adaptation, including $318 million under the global environmental facility trust fund between 2002 and 2010. About one-third of this funding went to climate change activities. One hundred million dollars was allocated to the World Bank's pilot program for climate resilience between 2008 and 2010 alone. This makes Canada the largest donor to that program.
The Copenhagen accord provides significant international adaptation funding, including a commitment by developed countries to provide new resources approaching $30 billion U.S. for the 2010 to 2012 period, focused on those who need it most.
The accord also established the Copenhagen green climate fund to mobilize $100 billion U.S. per year by 2020 in public and private investments for the adaptation and mitigation needs of developing countries.
Canada will deliver its share. We will continue to support action that strengthens the capacity of the most vulnerable to adapt to climate change.
The challenges posed by climate change are very real. As a developed northern nation, Canada embraces its leadership role in addressing them. It is a long-term undertaking. There are no quick and easy fixes, especially when it comes to balancing the needs of the environment and the economy.
The government is confident in its strategy. I would rather have this kind of concrete action than a thousand empty target-setting exercises such as those proposed in Bill C-311. I urge the House to reject this misleading and ineffective bill and join us in delivering the real solutions Canadians want.