TORONTO, Oct. 15 /CNW Telbec/ - Addressing an audience at the Business of
Climate Change conference in Toronto today, Avrim Lazar, the President and CEO
of the Forest Products Association of Canada (FPAC) called on the federal
government to step-up targeted action on climate change.
"The question is not should we move on the environment but how do we move
to make competitiveness the lens through which we design aggressive
environmental progress," said Mr. Lazar.
FPAC is calling on governments at all levels to step up the next
generation of climate change programs and policy arguing the climate problem
is global, driven by the structure of the economy, and increasingly pressing.
Canada's approach needs to be structured in light of these facts.
"Canadians have been clear about their expectations for strong government
leadership on both the environment and a competitive economy throughout the
recent election campaign. Regardless of what's happening with the TSX or NYSE,
now is the time to fully integrate competitive economic thinking into
environmental planning. Ignoring environmental pressures during hard economic
times will just put Canada further behind the curve. Industry has no choice
but to take action on climate change in order to remain competitive - our
customers around the world demand it. And more than ever before, we need to
know our governments are on board," said Mr. Lazar.
In his speech, Mr. Lazar outlined four tests which should be used to
assess environmental policies to ensure they address both the climate and the
economy. These include:
1. Does the policy accelerate the deep re-tooling of Canadian industry to
allow for a low carbon footprint future? Tax and policy measures all
have a significant impact on the speed of re-tooling.
2. Is the policy trade neutral? Disadvantaging Canadian industry on
global trade can have the perverse impact of harming the global
environment and exporting jobs to polluting countries.
3. Is the policy designed with international markets, rather than
domestic jurisdictional boundaries in mind? The economy that has to
change does not reside within provincial or even national
jurisdictions. Harmonizing nationally and within North America is
4. Does the policy prepare the economy for a changed climate? Policy
must account for a changed climate as much as it does for mitigating
against a changing climate.
FPAC is the voice of Canada's wood, pulp and paper producers nationally
and internationally in government, trade and environmental affairs. Canada's
forest industry is an $80-billion dollar a year industry that represents 2% of
Canada's GDP. The industry is one of Canada's largest employers, operating in
over 300 Canadian communities and providing nearly 900,000 direct and indirect
jobs across the country.
For further information:
For further information: Laura Ballance, Laura Ballance Media Group,
(604) 252-3533, (604) 771-5176 (cell) or Monica Bailey, Manager, External
Relations, Forest Products Association of Canada, (613) 563-1441 xt 323,