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New Canadian Environment Minister gets tough

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World Pipelines,

Environment Minister Catherine McKenna has pledged to subject existing oilsands pipeline proposals to tougher environmental assessments, amongst comments on climate change and greenhouse gas emissions targets.

McKenna, who has been in Paris this week for a ministerial meeting to prepare for the United Nations conference, said Canada is bringing a more constructive outlook to the international negotiations.

“People are extraordinarily happy to see that Canada is seated at the table, and that Canada accepts the scientific evidence that climate change is one of the greatest threats of our time and will be doing our part,” she told reporters.

McKenna said the federal government will make climate change a diplomatic priority at upcoming world meetings.

Trudeau has promised his government will put a price on carbon, establish national emissions-reduction targets, and add more teeth to environmental reviews for energy projects.

The new Liberal government has so far refused to set a carbon reduction target and will consult with the provinces before putting in place a national plan.

McKenna, an international trade lawyer who worked with the United Nations in negotiating a peace agreement in East Timor,has hinted that any target the Liberals set could potentially include greenhouse gas regulations on the nation’s oil and gas industry, and that the government’s promise to adopt grittier environmental assessments could apply to pipeline projects already under review.

McKenna has said that oil and gas companies are “recognising that they need to be doing more.”

Edited from various sources by Elizabeth Corner

Sources: The Globe and MailMacleansOttowa Citizen

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