Mon. Apr 15th, 2024

GHG Reduction: Canada is not on track to achieve its objectives

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A major oil producer, Canada is ranked 11th in largest GHG emitters in the world.

  • Stéphane Bordeleau (View profile)Stéphane Bordeleau

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The Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development, Jerry DeMarco, believes that the Trudeau government “is not on track to achieve the objective set in its 2030 Emissions Reduction Plan”, namely to reduce carbon emissions. GHGs in the country by at least 40% below the 2005 level.

From the outset, the 49-page report reminds us that greenhouse gas emissions in Canada are significantly higher than they were in 1990.

What's more, Canadians have never met previous reduction targets, despite the federal government implementing 10 climate change mitigation plans since 1990.

Faced with this observation, the Trudeau government launched in March 2022 an ambitious plan to reduce emissions by nearly 40% by 2030, within the framework of the Canada Protection Act. responsibility for carbon neutrality.

The 2030 target requires Canada to reduce its emissions to between 55% and 60% of what they were in 2005.

Based on 2020 emissions levels, meeting the new target would mean reducing the country's GHG emissions by about 23 million tonnes per year, on average. This is the equivalent of taking 5 million cars off the road every 12 months until the end of the decade.

The stagnation of progress on GHG reductions in Canada – one of the world's oil powers – has prompted Commissioner DeMarco to move forward his review. /p>

By law, he was required to report on Ottawa's plan by the end of 2024. However, given the urgent need for rapid and significant emissions reductions, the commissioner got to work a year ahead of schedule.

The stakes of failing to mitigate climate change are getting higher and higher, and opportunities to reduce emissions to meet the 2030 and 2050 targets are rapidly dwindling.

A quote from Jerry DeMarco, Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development

Consult the report of the Commissioner for the Environment and Sustainable Development (New window)

According to his report, the identification and prioritization work of the most important measures to reduce GHGs has not yet been taken, while other measures, more restrictive for the oil industry, have been postponed.

Although the 2030 Emissions Reduction Plan includes important measures to reduce emissions, we found that some of these measures have been delayed, including the cap on emissions from the oil and gas sector and the Clean Fuels Regulations, can we read in the document.

We remain extremely concerned about the federal government's ability to make meaningful progress under Canada's new Carbon Neutral Accountability Act.

A quote from Jerry DeMarco, Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development

At the end of his report, Commissioner DeMarco addresses around ten recommendations to the Privy Council Office and Environment and Climate Change Canada, all of which have been received and accepted, according to the document.

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Per capita GHG emissions in Canada increased from 21.5 tonnes to 17.8 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent between 2005 and 2020.

In 2020, Canada was the 11th largest emitter of GHGs in the world. Although considered high, GHG emissions per capita still increased from 21.5 tonnes to 17.8 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent from 2005 to 2020.

Which is unfortunately still far from the pace necessary to achieve the reduction targets planned for 2030.

And no previous gains have been acquired. As proof, in 2022, Canada's GHG emissions increased by 2.1% compared to their 2021 level, according to an analysis by the Climate Institute of Canada.

On the opposition benches, the Conservative Party stepped into the breach by declaring that with this report, the environment commissioner confirms the failure of Trudeau's carbon tax.

Stressing that Canada will not achieve its climate goals despite the Liberals' punitive taxes, the Conservatives criticize the government for not having done its homework regarding the impact of this plan on the Canadiens.

While mocking the Liberals who recently delayed the implementation of restrictive measures on oil heating, the Conservatives pointed out that the government had not even bothered to set implementation deadlines for 49% of its [climatic] measures.

He also admitted that only 43% of his so-called 'climate measures', many of which are actually just tax measures, will have a direct impact on emissions. The government's plan did not even bother to include a target or expected emissions reductions for 95% of its measures, the opposition added in a statement.

Greenpeace is urging the Trudeau government to take a serious step forward as its climate plan misses its GHG reduction target for 2030.

A target which is already largely insufficient compared to the requirements of the International Energy Agency, which asks developed nations to reduce their GHGs by 80% by 2035, recalls the environmental group.

The Trudeau government must break the series of climate setbacks by proposing a costed and ambitious plan that will drastically reduce emissions in all sectors of activity, starting with the oil and gas sector which is still slow to regulate even though it is the most polluting sector in the country.

Such gaps in the federal government's GHG reduction plan demonstrate, according to Greenpeace, that this government is not yet taking the climate crisis seriously.

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