Environment Minister Catherine McKenna to lead ‘clean energy’ trade mission to China

Environment Minister Catherine McKenna will lead a trade mission to China next month with the aim of “deepening clean energy ties” between the two countries.

McKenna made the announcement Friday at the Toronto Board of Trade where she described the mission as an opportunity to help Canadian businesses take advantage of emerging opportunities.

“China, the world’s largest emitter of greenhouse gases, is making generational changes in how it acquires and uses energy,” McKenna said.

Noting that China is introducing a cap-and-trade system that will cover the power-generation, iron, steel, chemical and building-material industries, McKenna said China will soon have the world’s largest carbon market.

“The investments that China will need in the clean tech and renewable sector to meet its plan are enormous,” she said. “This is a huge opportunity for Canadian business.”

Clean fuel standard

McKenna also announced that the federal government would be working with the provinces, industry, Indigenous Peoples and NGOs to create a clean fuel standard.

“Canadians want access to affordable, safe and clean fuels to power our workplaces, homes and cars,” McKenna said.

“This clean fuel standard will be a made-in-Canada approach that will provide flexibility to industry in how they innovate, and reduce emissions throughout the fuel system.”

McKenna said the new fuel standard is aimed to stimulate the production of renewable bio fuels from the agriculture sector. It will also encourage the use of lower carbon-emitting fuels like natural gas and alternatives such as electricity and hydrogen.

According to the federal government, the objective of the plan is to reduce annual greenhouse gas emissions by 30 megatonnes a year by 2030.

The Liberals say the clean fuel standard will apply not only for cars and trucks but also in homes, buildings and industry. But the plan may include provisions that take into account regional differences across Canada.

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