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The provincial role in Canadian climate change politics

Grégoire Gayard
Université Panthéon-Assas (Paris 2), Centre Thucydide
Grégoire Gayard
Université Panthéon-Assas (Paris 2), Centre Thucydide
Open Panel

Abstract

The paper I intend to present at the ECPR general Conference aims to analyze the politics of climate change in Canada. As one of the biggest oil producers in the world, Canada is a very interesting case when it comes to focusing on the internal politics of climate change. Ottawa signed and ratified the Kyoto protocol, therefore agreeing to cut its 1990 emissions by 6% before 2012. In spite of this, Canada’s emissions increased by more than 25% between 1990 and 2005. The Conservative government admitted that Canada was unable to reach its Kyoto target, and that it would instead reduce its total greenhouse gas emissions by 17% from 2005 levels by 2020. The climate change debate is very lively in Canada. The federal government has had to face critics from the opposition, but also from some of the provincial governments. Since Canada is a federal country, the decisions made by the federal government regarding climate change have an important impact on the provinces. The provinces themselves have developed their own climate policies. Quebec for instance, announced it would cut its own emissions by 20% from 1990 levels by 2020. My paper will focus on the relations between the federal government and the provinces regarding climate change. This will be an opportunity for me to present some of the findings of the research I’ve conducted in preparation for my PhD thesis, which focuses on the international activities of sub-national states (such as Quebec) regarding climate change.