Government of Canada and Canadian Pulp and Paper Industry Agree on Blueprint for Climate Change Action

OTTAWA — Prime Minister Jean Chrétien today signed a climate change Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Forest Products Association of Canada (FPAC). It sets out key elements of a climate change agreement between the Government and the pulp and paper industry, including a commitment by the industry to reduce its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions intensity by an average of 15 percent by 2008 to 2012, the first Kyoto commitment period.

The Prime Minister was joined at the event by Herb Dhaliwal, Minister of Natural Resources Canada; David Anderson, Minister of the Environment; and Avrim Lazar, President and CEO of FPAC.

The MoU marks the first agreement with industry to implement the strategy set out in theClimate Change Plan for Canada released last November. It outlines an approach that the pulp and paper industry will take to reduce GHG emissions to achieve its share of the 55-megatonne commitment for Canada’s large final emitters.

“Climate change is a challenge we all share, and we all have a responsibility to do our part,” said Prime Minister Chrétien. “This partnership with pulp and paper companies is a blueprint for how we can work with industry to make real progress in implementing theClimate Change Plan for Canada.”

“The pulp and paper industry is a large and diverse sector that forms a vital part of the Canadian economy. With the signing of this agreement, it is demonstrating continuing leadership on climate change and sustainable development,” said Minister Dhaliwal. “For our part, this agreement signals the Government of Canada’s intention to take an integrated approach to climate change policies as they apply to the forestry sector and to provide maximum flexibility in achieving real reductions.”

“Partnership, and the need for all sectors and all Canadians to play a part, are fundamental principles of the Climate Change Plan for Canada,” said Minister Anderson. “Through its success in reducing emissions in the past, and with this renewed commitment, Canada’s pulp and paper industry is showing it is determined to be a full partner with Canadians in pursuing our national environmental goals.”

According to Avrim Lazar, President and CEO of FPAC, the agreement represents “an extension of our industry’s long-term commitment to continuous environmental improvements. While we’ve led Canadian industry in emissions reductions for more than a decade, we are willing to go further in helping Canada meet its Kyoto commitments.” Mr. Lazar added that Canada’s forest industry has already reduced its GHG emissions by 22 percent below 1990 levels, while increasing its output by 21 percent.

The agreement covers companies with operations in every region of Canada involved in the production of pulp, newsprint, paperboard and other paper products. It recognizes the unique structure of the industry, including the integrated nature of the production of solid wood products and pulp and paper within many companies.

The guiding principles in the agreement are consistent with government commitments to industry made in the Climate Change Plan for Canada. The agreement addresses a number of key areas, including emissions reductions for the first commitment period, designing ways to assess early actions by industry leaders, greater reliance on low-emissions energy sources like biomass and combined heat and power (co-generation), future incentives to increase research and development in carbon-reducing technologies, and a policy framework to recognize the benefits of investments in long-term forest management in meeting Canada’s climate change objectives.

The agreement recognizes that an effective compliance system will need to be designed. This system should provide flexibility, and include emissions permit trading, forest “sinks” and forest management and production activities. The parties will work together to better understand the impact of forest management practices on carbon and Canada’s national accounting of GHG emissions.

The agreement provides a blueprint for action in which the Government will work closely with the participating pulp and paper companies to respond to the challenge of climate change.

Under the Climate Change Plan for Canada, large final emitters are to reduce their GHG emissions by 55 megatonnes. This amounts to a 15-percent reduction in emission intensities from the Government’s business-as-usual forecast for 2010. Large final emitters are companies that produce goods in emissions-intensive sectors, including energy, electricity and selected mining and manufacturing. Discussions will continue with other industry sectors.

For more information, media may contact:
PMO Press Office: (613) 957-5555

The following two media backgrounders are also available: (link missing)

  1. FPAC & Government of Canada Memorandum of Understanding Respecting Action on Climate Change
  2. Large Final Emitters Group