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CME says Kyoto could cost 450,000 manufacturing jobs

Ottawa, ON -- Feb. 27, 2002 -- Implementing the Kyoto Protocol could lead to plant closures throughout Canada and c...


Ottawa, ON — Feb. 27, 2002 — Implementing the Kyoto Protocol could lead to plant closures throughout Canada and cost up to 450,000 jobs in manufacturing alone by 2010, a report released today by Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters concludes.

"Canadian manufacturers are leaders in reducing emissions. They have already achieved a level of 2% below the 1990 target through voluntarily improving energy efficiency and by switching to cleaner fuels," said Perrin Beatty, CME president and CEO. "But industry is the direct source of only 17% of Canada’s total greenhouse gas emissions and Canadians face some daunting challenges in meeting our Kyoto target."

"The economic analysis to date underestimates the costs of Kyoto compliance," according to CME chief economist Dr. Jayson Myers. "Our estimates, which are based on sector impact analysis, indicate that Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions on a business-as-usual basis, will be 240 million metric tons or 40% above the Kyoto target by 2010. Canada will not be able to achieve this target without damaging economic and employment growth.

"Kyoto implementation will cause severe economic pain, particularly in the energy and manufacturing sectors. The total net job loss across the Canadian economy is much higher than our estimated 450,000 in direct manufacturing employment, when indirect jobs and the adjustment to a less carbon-intensive economic structure are added."

"Climate change is one of the most important and challenging environmental issues facing the world this century. However, it is more than just an environmental problem. It has serious political, economic and quality of life ramifications that must be thought through," continued Myers. "Before any consideration is given to ratifying, Canadians deserve a better understanding of how Kyoto would work and of its implications for our economy and our lifestyles.

"Canada can be a leader in implementing cost-effective solutions to reducing greenhouse gas emissions," said Beatty. "We need a long-term, sustainable strategy aimed at meeting the world’s climate change challenge. Canada is uniquely positioned to work with the United States and Mexico to build constructive market-based solutions across North America. Our goal must be to develop international mechanisms for reduction that actually work in practice as well as in theory."