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Update for: October, 2001






Province of Alberta?s Position on the Kyoto Agreement:

As reported in the August 2001 Update, 178 nations, including Canada, reached an agreement on the Kyoto Protocol during the July 2001 meetings in Bonn, Germany. The Government of Alberta has approached the idea of ratification with obvious caution. There are still several issues that require resolution before an informed decision can be made on ratification. The primary issue is the impact on Alberta?s industries and economy. Alberta is also seeking recognition for Canada?s "clean" energy exports, specifically recognition that GHG emissions from Alberta?s oil and gas tend to be lower than that produced by other energy exporting nations, such as Venezuela, or substitutes for higher GHG producing forms of energy (in the case of natural gas replacing oil). The issue of energy exports has been placed on the international UN agenda, but a decision is not expected until CoP8, which is scheduled for an undetermined date in 2003.

First Canadian Initiated CO2 Emission Trading Simulation:

Climate Change Central (CCC) partnered with New York based CO2e.com LLC to organize a two-day emission trading simulation on September 5 and 6, 2001. Interested organizations gained "hands on" experience in a virtual trading environment and an opportunity to develop a greater understanding of how future emissions trading markets may operate. Simulation sponsors included Alberta Environment, ATCO Power, EPCOR, Shell Canada, Suncor Energy, TransCanada PipeLines, University of Calgary and Western Economic Diversification.

For more information on the Simulation, refer to the CCC website: http://www.climatechangecentral.com/



Joint Ministers of the Environment and Energy Meet to Discuss the Kyoto Agreement:

Canadian Energy and Environment Ministers met on September 24, 2001, to discuss climate change and released a Progress Report on Canada's First National Climate Change Business Plan. The Progress Report outlines where headway has been made in developing and implementing climate change measures and actions outlined in the original plan. Ministers also recognized that there is increasing scientific evidence of the extent of climate change, both globally and in Canada.

Additionally, the Ministers discussed international developments on climate change including the implications of the Bonn Agreement and the upcoming international negotiations on the Kyoto Protocol at CoP7 in Morocco. Areas identified for discussions include: a domestic emissions trading system, targeted measures, covenants, impacts and adaptation, technology and competitiveness. Talks on all of these matters will start no later than May 2002 in order for Canada to consider ratification of the Kyoto Protocol, possibly as early as 2002.


Next Round of International Climate Change Negotiations:

The next round of international talks on the Kyoto Protocol (CoP7) is scheduled for October 29 ? November 9, 2001, in Marrakech, Morocco.

Eastern Canadian Provinces and U.S. States Reach a Bilateral Agreement on GHG Emissions:

Eastern Canadian provinces and U.S. New England states adopted an historic resolution aimed to reduce GHG emissions in the region to 1990 levels within 10 years. The resolution requires participating state and provincial governments to document the emission levels in their regions, develop plans for reducing greenhouses gases, use more environmentally friendly fuel sources and reduce their energy consumption. The agreement requires participants to use more efficient vehicles, enhance usage of public transit and promote lower carbon fuels. The deal commits the regions to reducing GHG emissions by at least 10% below 1990 levels by 2020.



Ballard and Ford Sign $34.5 Million Fuel Cell Agreement:

Ballard Power Systems announced a $34.5 million three-year agreement with Ford Motor Company to supply Ford with Mark 900 Series fuel cell power modules and related engineering and support services. Ford and Ballard?s intention is to launch the first commercial fuel cell private vehicle in 2004.

Ford Announces Development of the First Hybrid Electric SUV:

Ford Motor Company has announced that a hybrid electric version of the Escape SUV will be available in 2003. The Escape will be the first hybrid SUV to reach the marketplace. The Escape will combine a self-regenerating electric motor with a four-cylinder gasoline engine and is expected to achieve 40 mpg (city driving).

GMC Announces production of a Gasoline-Electric Hybrid Powered Pick-up Truck:

GMC has announced that by 2004 it will offer a hybrid powertrain option for its full-sized GMC Sierra and Chevrolet Silverado pickup trucks. The Parallel Hybrid powerplant combines a V8 gasoline engine and a 4.8 kW electric motor/generator. The electric motor will provide power during starting and idling, and will generate electricity during deceleration. The gasoline engine will shut off during full stops, therefore vehicle idling emissions will be reduced to zero. GMC?s testing has indicated that the hybrid vehicles will achieve 15% better fuel mileage without sacrificing performance, payload or towing capacity.

Anti-Idling Campaign Launched in Mississauga, Ontario:

The City of Mississauga is launching an air-quality campaign this Fall through which it wants to persuade motorists to turn off their vehicles? engines rather than have them idle unnecessarily. The campaign has received $150,000 in financial help from the Federal Government. University students from the University of Toronto will carry the message directly to motorists waiting to pick-up passengers at schools and at GO Train "kiss-and-ride" areas. Private sector companies are expected to take part in the campaign.


Prepared by Alberta Transportation and Alberta Environment          

This information is available on the Alberta Transportation web-site


Peter Dzikowski
Senior Policy Advisor, Environmental Issues