Skip to content

NEWS: Canada’s emissions projected to be 29% higher than weak Copenhagen commitment

Postmeda News reports this morning that, “The Harper government’s existing climate change policies won’t stop greenhouse gas emissions from increasing to levels that are nearly 30 per cent higher than its new target for 2020 under the Copenhagen Accord, Environment Canada has revealed.”

“According to newly released figures posted on the department’s website, Canada’s annual emissions would rise by about 16 per cent above 2005 levels by 2020 if there is no government action to fight climate change. But even with existing policies announced, such as new standards to reduce tailpipe emissions from new passenger vehicles, annual emissions would rise by seven per cent — from 731 megatonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent emissions up to 785 megatonnes. That projection would be 29 per cent above Canada’s international commitment made by the Harper government. Under the non-binding Copenhagen agreement, signed during international climate-change negotiations in 2009, Canada pledged to reduce its annual emissions to 607 megatonnes or 17 per cent below 2005 levels.”

Even without this news the Harper government’s target of a greenhouse gas emission reduction of 17 per cent below 2005 levels by 2020 was suspect. That’s because the standard international baseline for these targets is 1990, and Harper’s 17 per cent target actually equates to emissions 2.5 per cent higher than 1990 levels. It must also be remembered that Canada had pledged under the legally-binding 1997 Kyoto accord to a 6 per cent cut in emissions below 1990 by 2012. In reality, Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions increased by about 26 per cent between 1990 and 2007.

The Council of Canadians supports the demand emerging from the Peoples World Conference on Climate Change and the Rights of Mother Earth of “The reduction of 50 per cent of greenhouse gas emissions for the second period of the Kyoto Protocol from 2013-2017, the limit on the increase in temperature to 1 degree Celsius and 300 ppm.”

Today’s news article is at