Canada's cred on climate change won't need much work: enviro minister

The Canadian Press

MONTREAL - Canada's environment minister says his government's reputation on tackling climate change won't need much work.

Peter Kent made the remarks today in Montreal — a couple of days after the Obama administration challenged Canada to act more aggressively on climate change.

His comments come as Canada desperately tries to find ways to get Alberta's oilsands bitumen to markets, including the controversial Keystone XL pipeline project to pump oil though the U.S.

The future success of Canada's oil industry may hang in the balance, pushing climate change back to the political front-burner in Ottawa.

Kent says he's confident that Canada doesn't have to go very far to build credibility with the U.S. government.

He says Canada has worked closely with the U.S. on many joint projects to combat climate change and reduce emissions.

U.S. Ambassador David Jacobson said earlier this week that President Barack Obama's State of the Union message to move swiftly on climate change should be interpreted as a challenge to Ottawa as well.

Kent made the remarks at a news conference in Montreal, joined by Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver, where they announced 23 clean-technology projects.

The environment minister says it's a just coincidence that this $61.8-million announcement is being made so soon after Obama's climate-change challenge.