Canada’s Economy Faces Repercussions As It Lags Behind In Environmental Standards

16 May 2012 11:30am - Crage Campbell

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Canada’s Economy Faces Repercussions As It Lags Behind In Environmental Standards

Research completed by the National Round Table on the Environment and the Economy has said that Canadian businesses are facing economic repercussions that will affect the country’s growth and international competitiveness because of inadequate policies to ensure environmental standards. The report, called Canada’s Opportunity: Adopting Life Cycle Approaches for Sustainable Development, said that foreign governments have already started to introduce regulations that set minimum environmental standards on products such as requiring fuels to have a cleaner environmental footprint, restricting the trade and market access of Canadian companies. More and more countries are demanding that their imports meet environmental standards but this new research shows that there is little information in Canada for businesses to determine what kind of environmental footprint their production is making. With no organized effort to deal with such analysis, the round table says Canada’s competitiveness and reputation in global trade are at stake.

“Increasingly, market access for our resources and goods will be at risk if we don’t act,” the advisory group’s president, David McLaughlin, says in the report. The research concludes that the longer Ottawa waits to clamp down on the emissions and business continues as usual, the more difficult and costly it becomes to meet Canada's environmental targets. The research also shows that electricity could be Canada's salvation, as long as that sector can attract huge investment of about $12 billion a year.

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