Mr. Speaker, in response to (a), the Prime Minister will attend the conference in Copenhagen.
The Minister of the Environment will be the head of delegation for the ministerial segment of the meeting, scheduled for December 16 to 18, 2009. From December 7 to 16, 2009, Canada’s chief negotiator for climate change, Mr. Michael Martin, will lead Canada’s delegation, supported by a team of federal, provincial and territorial officials. Critics of the environment from each federal party will be invited to attend the conference as well.
In response to (b), provincial and territorial premiers, or designated representatives, have been invited to join the Canadian delegation. The delegation will also include a number of advisors representing a range of Canadian stakeholders.
In response to (c), federal officials and representatives from the provinces and territories will be part of the Canadian delegation, as well as a number of external advisers.
In response to (d), final decisions have yet to be made with respect to the exact number of federal officials that will need to participate on the Canadian delegation in Copenhagen. A final list of delegates will need to be approved by the Minister of the Environment and the Minister of Foreign Affairs. However, based on experience at previous UNFCCC conference of the parties and estimated expected expenses, we are projecting a potential total cost of approximately $1.7 million Canadian for the government participation at Copenhagen. This total includes the cost of accommodation, travel, per diems and delegation meeting rooms. There are no delegate fees associated with the meeting.
In response to (e), Canada signed the Kyoto protocol on April 29, 1998 and ratified it on December 17, 2002. The Kyoto protocol entered into force on February 16, 2005.
Canada’s commitments in the UNFCCC and its Kyoto protocol are clear. Canada remains a party to the Kyoto protocol and is actively engaged in negotiations for the post-2012 period.
Canada’s assigned reduction amount for the 2008 to 2012 commitment period is 2,791 million tonnes CO2 eq. Similar to a number of other annex 1 parties with Kyoto protocol commitments, Canada’s emissions in the 2008 to 2012 period are projected to exceed its assigned amount. The Kyoto protocol provides annex 1 parties with the right to acquire or transfer emission units. Canada meets all the eligibility criteria and became eligible to participate in all the flexibility mechanisms under the Kyoto protocol on June 16, 2008.
The compliance of annex 1 parties with their Kyoto commitments will be determined following the completion of an expert review of its 2012 emissions inventory, to be submitted by April 15 in 2014.
Going forward, Canada believes we should build on the experience gained through the implementation of the Kyoto protocol in developing a new agreement under the convention to strengthen the environmental effectiveness of the existing global climate change regime through binding commitments and actions by all major emitters.
In response to (f), in March 2008, the government published the Turning the Corner plan. Earlier this year, the government indicated that it was refining this approach to reflect the new realities of the global economic downturn and the opportunities represented by a new administration in the United States. The government publishes information on the implementation of its climate change programs annually through the climate change plans for the purposes of the Kyoto Protocol Implementation Act. These documents can be found on Environment Canada's Web site, and are also available in hard copy by contacting the department.