Canadian Challenges in Implementing the Kyoto Protocol: A Cause for Harmonization


  • Elisabeth DeMarco
  • Robert Routliffe
  • Heather Landymore



Energy Law, Petroleum Law


On 17 December 2002, Canada ratified the Kyoto Protocol to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (Kyoto Protocol), taking on binding targets to reduce Canadian emissions of greenhouse gases (GHGs). Canada's ratification decision and the proposed domestic emissions trading system forming part of Canada's Kyoto implementation plan continue to be the source of considerable disagreement and conflict between the provinces and thefederal government regarding: the practical challenges associated with multiple Canadian jurisdictions implementing emissions trading systems: the current status and legal issues associated with covenants between industry and government(s) to enforce GHG reduction targets; the legal jurisdiction over domestic emissions trading system(s); and the impact on interprovincial and international trade. Each ofthese issues is examined in the unique Canadian legal context. The authors conclude that many ofthe most significant challenges may be mitigated through harmonization and coordination byfederal and provincial governments in a manner that allows for local concerns to be addressed without fragmenting the Canadian emissions markets.