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NEWS: Tar sands carbon emissions up 20 per cent

The Vancouver Sun reports, “The federal government has acknowledged that it deliberately excluded data indicating a 20 per cent increase in pollution from Canada’s oilsands industry in 2009 from a recent 567-page report on climate change that it was required to submit to the United Nations.”

“Overall, Environment Canada said that the oilsands industry was responsible for about 6.5 per cent of Canada’s annual greenhouse gas emissions in 2009, up from five per cent in 2008. This also indicates a growth in emissions that is close to about 300 per cent since 1990… The report revealed a six per cent drop in annual emissions for the entire economy from 2008 to 2009, but does not directly show the extent of pollution from the oilsands production, which is now greater than the greenhouse gas emissions of all the cars driven on Canadian roads. …The report attributes the six per cent decrease in Canada’s overall emissions to the economic slowdown, but it also credits efforts by the Ontario government to reduce production of coal-fired electricity as a significant factor.”

“The data also indicated that emissions per barrel of oil produced by the sector is increasing, despite claims made by the industry in an advertising campaign.”

The Globe and Mail reported this past March, “Canada’s ambassador to the European Union privately promised EU politicians a year ago that the (Harper) government would bring in regulations to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the oil sands, newly released documents indicate. But Ottawa has yet to act on that commitment. Meetings between Ambassador Ross Hornby and European parliamentarians were part of a campaign to derail the EU’s proposed clean-fuel standards that would penalize the oil sands as ‘dirty fuel’. …The Harper government was also lobbying to prevent the European Parliament from adopting fuel standards that would single out the oil sands projects as particularly heavy emitters…”

And Postmeda News reported in February 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. That projection would be 29 per cent above Canada’s international commitment made by the Harper government. Under the non-binding Copenhagen agreement, Canada pledged to reduce its annual emissions to 17 per cent below 2005 levels.”

Today’s news article is at http://www.vancouversun.com/business/Oilsands+emissions+data+left+report/4861017/story.html.