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Cablegate: Canada - Organizing for Climate Change Policy Work

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UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 OTTAWA 001437

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

DEPARTMENT FOR WHA, OES, AND EB
WHITE HOUSE FOR CEQ
DOE FOR POLICY AND INTERNATIONAL

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: SENV ENRG KCHG CA
SUBJECT: CANADA - ORGANIZING FOR CLIMATE CHANGE POLICY WORK

REF: A. STATE 116939
B. OTTAWA 446 (NOTAL)
C. OTTAWA 438 (NOTAL)

This message is Sensitive but Unclassified. Please protect
accordingly.

1. (U) This message responds to ref a's request for
information on how the government of Canada has organized
itself to prepare for negotiations for a post-2012 climate
framework and to develop and implement domestic climate
programs.

Organizing for Domestic Climate Work
------------------------------------
2. (SBU) On the domestic front at the political level, the
government of Canada in September 2007 established a Cabinet
Committee on Environment and Energy Security. As currently
constituted, the committee is chaired by former environment
(and now transport and infrastructure) minister John Baird.
Other committee members include ministers for revenue,
environment, health, and natural resources, and ministers of
state (in effect junior ministers) for small business and
tourism, western economic diversification, and science
technology. Although this committee is nominally charged
with bringing a multi-disciplinary approach to cabinet
consideration of environment and energy security policy, the
real weight rests with current environment minister Jim
Prentice, Prime Minister Stephen Harper's chief lieutenant.
Senior Environment Canada officials have told ESTH counselor
that Prentice's mandate letter from the Prime Minister makes
it clear that lead responsibility for environmental matters,
including climate change, lies with Prentice and Environment
Canada. Prentice's appointment to the environment portfolio
on October 28 is unquestionably more important in signaling
enhanced federal government interest in the environment and
climate work than the establishment of the interagency
cabinet committee.

3. (SBU) Bureaucratically, the federal government has not
added significant new staff for climate change policy or
implementation work, and it has not significantly
re-organized the bureaucracy dealing with climate at the
federal level. Domestic climate policy work at the federal
level is interagency, with Environment Canada taking the lead
role. Other Canadian government departments with major roles
include Natural Resources, Transport, and Agriculture, with
other agencies brought in as the issues dictate. Senior
Environment Canada officials describe the interagency process
as smooth and open. Perhaps even more so than with
international climate policy, Canadian domestic climate
policy is the product of significant consultation with the
provinces, industry, and other stakeholders, including First
Nations and aboriginal peoples. Provinces are heavily
QNations and aboriginal peoples. Provinces are heavily
involved because the environment is a shared jurisdiction in
Canada (with the provinces in fact holding the lion's share
of responsibility and authority), and much of even federal
policy can only be implemented by provinces. (See Ref c for
a description of shared jurisdiction in Canada on
environment, energy, and other matters.) Senior officials
are therefore heavily involved in this consultation with the
provinces and other stakeholders in deciding what climate

OTTAWA 00001437 002 OF 002


policies are feasible, and, perhaps more importantly, doable.
(Ref b describes the most recent federal pronouncement on
climate policy and discusses the interplay between federal
and provincial interests. Our understanding is that
regulations for the domestic climate regime will be issued -
published in the Canada Gazette - in early December 2008 and
come into force on January 1, 2010.)


And in the International Arena
------------------------------
4. (U) On the international plane, Canada did make a change
in its organization for negotiations for a post-2012
framework with the naming of Michael Martin as chief
negotiator and ambassador for climate change in May 2008.
Martin had been Environment Canada's assistant deputy
minister for strategic policy, and had been involved in the
file since May 2006. He spent the bulk of his career in the
Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade.
Environment Canada assistant deputy minister for
international affairs David McGovern had been Canada's chief
climate negotiator and remains actively involved in the file.
Martin's direct staff is small; the bulk of Canada's
international climate policy development and staff-level
negotiation is still done in McGovern's international affairs
branch. The Department of Foreign Affairs and International
Trade also participates in international climate negotiations.

5. (U) Canada's cooperation with the United States in
international climate fora remains strong. As Washington
agencies are aware, Canada hosted its first major Asia
Pacific Partnership for Clean Development and Climate meeting
(of the Policy and Implementation Committee) in Vancouver at
the end of last month.

6. (U) Embassy does have discussions on U.S. and Canadian
climate policies with other Ottawa diplomatic missions,
particularly the UK High Commission.

Visit Canada,s Economy and Environment Forum at
http://www.intelink.gov/communities/state/can ada

WILKINS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
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