If we are permitted a bit of exaggeration, we would say that Canada has not a hope in hell of reaching its Copenhagen targets for reduced Greenhouse Gas emissions.
Not even its supporters expect the Harper Government to be a miracle maker. Yet that is what is required if we are to meet this target. Implementation of the long promised regulations on the oil and gas industry won’t do the trick. . . . and, apart from stricter emissions standards for motor vehicles (adopted from the USA), there is nothing else on the agenda.
Today Environment Canada finally released its analysis of GHG emission trends – three months behind schedule. Perhaps Canada’s new Environment Minister had to warn her colleagues that the situation described in the report would not be pretty.
Then again perhaps not. No one in this Government appears to believe in the necessity of avoiding global warming, possibly because they don’t accept the science.
Canada was failing in the other years since Copenhagen but this year it flunked out!
Here is a more dispassionate summary by Dr. Christian Holtz, Executive Director of Climate Action Network Canada:
Reaction by Climate Action Network Canada’s Executive Director, Christian Holz, to Environment Canada’s release of “Emissions Trends 2013”
“‘Canada’s Emissions Trends 2013’, released earlier today, confirms again through the government’s own analysis that the government’s sector-by-sector regulatory approach to curbing climate pollution is simply not working. The report essentially confirms the findings of last year’s report – that Canada will miss the climate target promised by Prime Minister Harper in Copenhagen in 2009, a commitment which has been repeated over and over by the Prime Minister and his cabinet.”
“Noteworthy this year, is the absence of an Environment Minster desperately attempting to spin the sobering numbers into a success for the government (recall Peter Kent’s misleading ‘halfway there’ comments; often repeated by cabinet ministers) – in fact, the report itself was nearly 3 months delayed from its usual publication date with no explanation given.”
“Essentially, the report confirms what has been known to many before but what this government has hitherto denied: The government’s approach to climate change is utterly unsuitable for the problem and its talking points around responsible resource development and environmental stewardship are a farce.”
“The good news for Canadians is – again confirmed by today’s report – that provincial governments in many regions of the country are picking up part of the slack left by federal inaction, but this can only go so far. Canadians deserve a federal government that gets serious about curbing carbon pollution and starts to match its actions to its rhetoric on environmental stewardship. This includes providing federal support for renewable energy and energy efficiency programs, ending subsidies for fossil fuels and table tough greenhouse gas regulation on Canada’s fastest growing source of carbon pollution – the oil and gas sector.”
“Even in absolute terms, this years report represents a further deterioration of Canada’s poor climate performance: while Environment Canada predicted the country’s climate pollution in 2020 to amount to 720 million tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (Mt CO2e) while today’s report estimates 2020 emissions to be 734 Mt CO2e. Not only will the Harper government miss its own climate target – it is actually moving further and further away from that target. Less than one month ago, the world’s leading climate scientists confirmed that in order to retain the planet in livable conditions for our children and grandchildren we need to phase out carbon pollution altogether by mid century. Allowing it to continue to soar instead is failing future generations of Canadians and people everywhere in the world.”