Voluntary Approaches and Formal Regulation: Climate Change and Canada’s Energy Sector

Alastair R. Lucas and Veronica Potes

in Regulating Energy and Natural Resources

Published in print March 2006 | ISBN: 9780199299874
Published online January 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780191714931 | DOI:
 Voluntary Approaches and Formal Regulation: Climate Change and Canada’s Energy Sector

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In the late 1990s, voluntary initiatives and particularly the Voluntary Challenge and Registry Program (VCR), were thought to be preferred instruments for implementing Canada's commitments under the Framework Convention on Climate Change and later under the Kyoto Protocol. However, in January 2005, the Toronto Globe and Mail reported in a headline story on a leaked Government of Canada document entitled ‘Climate Change: Lessons Learned and Future Directions’. The draft document was quoted as stating that the ‘voluntary approach and limited incentives [are] not sufficient to drive substantial change’. Policy-makers would, ‘need more consideration of regulation and taxation to drive behavioural change and technology development and uptake’. This chapter documents and assesses this shift from voluntary to regulatory through a case study of the VCR. It relies on a review the development of Canadian Climate Change policy and on key informants from the energy sector, from government, and from the environmental non-governmental organization (NGO) community.

Keywords: Canada; energy sector; Canadian Climate Change policy; Voluntary Challenge and Registry Program

Chapter.  8136 words. 

Subjects: Public International Law

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