Federal Conservative Minister of Industry Jim Prentice spoke to students, lawyers and the public at the University of Calgary Fri., Feb. 8. He focused on recent activities in government concerning greenhouse gas emissions.
"[Greenhouse gas emissions] are the most important issue of our time," said Prentice.
Prentice spoke about his background and his experiences as a law student at the U of C. He then moved on to describe how the government set up a framework to deal with reducing emissions, and explained the exact plan that the government is putting in place to control emissions.
"Canada [now] has a regulatory framework for emissions," he said. "No other country has this. [The government] had to consider changes in technology. The only way to change emissions is with step changes in technology, for example the capture and storage of carbon. It is a complete overhaul of the system to reduce emissions."
Prentice then explained to the audience the numbers involved with the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.
"[There will be] 18 per cent reduction by 2010 and two per cent reduction every year until 2020," said Prentice. "There will be 150 megatons of reduction by 2020. Success in global problems must start at the local level."
Prentice addressed the issue of balancing the environment with the economy of Canada. He also commented on balancing input from the public and business.
"It is important to talk with those concerned," he said. "The task involves balancing obligations to the world to secure a country's economic future."
Prentice explained that after 2020, a two per cent reduction will occur every year, with a targeted 60 per cent reduction by 2050. The step changes in technology are part of a plan called Turning the Corner.
Prentice quickly mentioned the further development of wind technology and briefly touched on nuclear energy.