A- A+


Update for: January, 2003






Alberta Takes Action on Mandatory Reporting of Greenhouse Gas Emissions:

The Government of Alberta and Alberta industry are working together to establish a formal mechanism and framework on how companies with large volumes of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions will track and report on emissions by 2004.

On December 23, the province publicly released a draft Framework Proposal for an Alberta Greenhouse Gas Reporting Program that would see facilities that emit more than 150,000 tonnes of greenhouse gases a year are required to report on their emissions. Under a proposed pilot program, companies will begin collecting emissions data in 2003 and mandatory reporting would begin in 2004.

Alberta Environment will begin formal consultations with various industry associations and facility operators in January 2003, to determine the nature and scope of emissions to be tracked and to determine which industries and facilities should be required to report. The goal of the consultation is to develop a provincial-reporting program that can serve as a model for an efficient and effective national reporting framework, and be coordinated with other programs and jurisdictions.

The Government of Alberta has also begun negotiations on sectoral agreements with key sectors of the economy on how to achieve GHG reductions, which may result in additional recommendations on the reporting of emissions. The provincial action plan on climate change, released in October 2002, and the proposed Climate Change and Emissions Management Act introduced in the Fall Session of the provincial legislature, both identify the need for accurate reporting on provincial greenhouse gas.

For copies of A Framework Proposal for an Alberta Greenhouse Gas Reporting Program and the Alberta Climate Change Action Plan, visit: http://www3.gov.ab.ca/env/climate.



Kyoto Agreement:

Jean Chrétien made Canada's ratification of the Kyoto Protocol official December 17, 2002, committing the country to an international climate-change protocol. The Prime Minister signed the document, officially called the ratification instrument that was delivered to the United Nations headquarters in New York, making Canada the 98th country to ratify the accord.

Under Kyoto, Canada will be obliged to reduce its emissions of such greenhouse gases as carbon dioxide to 6 percent below 1990 levels, by 2012.

Federal Government Attempts to Soften Blow for Oil Industry:

The Federal Government has taken steps to limit the Canadian oil industry's financial burden under the newly ratified Kyoto Accord by capping the amount of reduction in GHG emissions it will be responsible for. In a letter sent to the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers, Natural Resources Minister Herb Dhaliwal confirmed oil companies will be able to meet their emission reduction responsibilities at a price no greater than $15 per tonne. In addition, the federal government will set emissions intensity targets for the oil and gas industry, at a maximum of 15 percent below projected business-as-usual levels for 2010. 



New Zealand Ratifies Kyoto Protocol:

Prime Minister Helen Clark signed New Zealand's commitment to the Kyoto Protocol on December 10, 2002. Miss Clark and cabinet minister Pete Hodgson, who convenes the ministerial group on climate change, signed the country's instrument of ratification for the Kyoto Protocol. They committed to reducing New Zealand's emissions of GHG emissions to 1990 levels from 2008-12.

Kyoto - The Importance of Russia:

The 1997 Kyoto Protocol is expected to take effect next year when Russia ratifies it. The United States, which is responsible for about a quarter of the world's man-made carbon dioxide emissions and Australia have declined to ratify it. For the Kyoto Protocol to come into force, it requires 55 percent of developed-country greenhouse gas emissions to be represented. So far, 37.4 percent of emissions are accounted for in ratifying countries. Russia accounts for 17.4 percent. With Canada and New Zealand recently ratifying the Kyoto Protocol, Russia is vital to make up the required 55 percent. 



Auto Manufacturers to Sell Limited Number of Fuel Cell Vehicles:

Daimler-Chrysler, Ford, Honda, Nissan, and Toyota have announced plans to market fuel cell vehicles in the U.S. on a very small scale between 2002-04.

Honda plans to offer, through lease arrangements, a limited number of its fuel cell vehicles in the U.S. and Japan. Toyota will offer about 20 hybrid fuel cell SUVs, based on its Highlander platform, by the end of 2002. The first of these vehicles have already been delivered to the California market, as of December 2002. However, these vehicles will only be available on a lease basis to a few fleets that have ready access to hydrogen fueling stations.

Daimler-Chrysler announced that it would deploy about 60 Mercedes-Benz A-Class "F-Cell" FCVs in the 2003 calendar year. These cars will be operated and tested by customers within joint ventures in the U.S., Japan, and Singapore. Nissan has announced plans to start selling a fuel cell vehicle by 2003, and Ford Motor Co. said it would offer a fuel cell version of the Focus in low-volume production for small fleet operations in 2004.

None of these manufacturers have announced plans for mass marketing these vehicles. Most industry experts agree that fuel cell vehicles are not expected to reach the mass market before 2010.

New Hybrid Vehicles Increases Gas-saving Options for Consumers:

The introduction of Honda's new 2003 Civic Hybrid expands North American consumers' hybrid-electric vehicle choices to three. Like the Toyota Prius and Honda Insight, the Civic Hybrid gets exceptional gas mileage (46 MPG city/51 MPG highway) or (5.1 litres/100 km city / 4.6 litres/100 km highway).

According to automakers, consumers will have a dozen hybrid cars and trucks to choose from within the net few years. Below is a list of hybrids with their announced introduction dates.

Ford Escape 2004
Ford Explorer 2005+
GM Saturn SUV 2004
GM Chevy Pickup 2004
GM Chevy Suburban 2005
Daimler-Chrysler Dodge Ram Pickup 2005
Daimler-Chrysler Mercedes S-Class 2006


Prepared by Alberta Transportation and Alberta Environment          

This information is available on the Alberta Transportation web-site


Peter Dzikowski
Senior Policy Advisor, Environmental Issues