Canadian Steel Industry reaches agreement with government

Hamilton, Ontario— The Government of Canada, the Government of Ontario and the Canadian Steel Producers Association signed a Memorandum of Understanding to work together to address climate change.

The agreement sets out short-term and longer-term plans for government and industry action to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. The steel industry commits to doing its share to help Canada meet its climate change commitments, provided this does not undermine the competitiveness of the industry or result in an unfair burden. The Government of Canada will design emissions-reduction targets that reflect this commitment. It will also join forces with the industry to develop new low-emissions technologies by committing $300,000 to an international research effort.

“This represents important progress by multiple levels of government on climate change with a key sector of the Canadian economy,” said Minister Efford. “My colleague, the Honorable Stéphane Dion, Minister of the Environment, and I agree that in signing this MOU, the steel industry is showing leadership by committing to do its part to address climate change. The Government of Canada, for its part, will make sure that any reduction obligations do not impair the competitive position of this vital industry. We make real progress on climate change when our policies support industries, such as the steel industry, which have been successfully reducing emissions since the 90s.”

The MOU highlights the need for a longer-term plan. It sets out the Government of Canada’s role as an active player in an international effort organized by the International Iron and Steel Institute to develop revolutionary new processes that minimize, eliminate or capture carbon emissions through its CO2 Breakthrough Programme. The Government of Canada is committing $300,000 toward the first phase of this international effort that focuses on identifying promising new technologies.

“Canadian steel producers are committed to taking action to address climate change,” said Mr. Pether. “Industry has demonstrated this commitment by reducing the GHG emissions from a ton of shipped steel by 30 percent since 1990 and by committing to do more, both in the short and long run.”

The Government of Ontario has also signed the MOU and was represented at the signing ceremony. “The McGuinty government fully supports the agreement and welcomes the opportunity to work with the Government of Canada and the steel industry on climate change,” said Minister Bountrogianni. “I believe this work will help improve air quality across Ontario. With the majority of steel producers located in Ontario, our combined efforts will contribute to a healthier environment and a strong economy.”

The MOU also sets out a work program that includes the examination of near-term opportunities to improve energy efficiency and reduce GHG emissions.

The parties will follow up on an energy benchmarking study under NRCan’s Canadian Industry Program for Energy Conservation. This will also complement ongoing energy-efficiency improvement efforts with NRCan’s CANMET Energy Technology Centre.

The Government of Canada has signed agreements on climate change with DuPont Canada Inc., the Forest Products Association of Canada and the International Emissions Trading Association.

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