Canada to miss emissions target
OTTAWA—The latest internal government report confirms Canada is not close to being on track to meet its promised target for emissions cuts by the year 2020.
In fact, the Environment Canada analysis released yesterday indicates the country slipped backward in 2012 in terms of achieving the government’s greenhouse gas emissions target under the Copenhagen Accord.
“This represents a significant challenge in light of economic growth,” stated the 77-page “Canada’s Emission Trends,” the third such annual report.
Even with long-overdue government regulations on the oil-and-gas sector, which have not yet been announced, Environment Canada doesn’t foresee a scenario where the 2020 target will be met.
The government repeatedly has touted that it is halfway to the Copenhagen commitment—which is another way of saying the trend line shows that Canada will fall 50 percent short of the target.
The United States, which has the same 17 percent reduction target, announced last month that it was on pace to meet the goal.
Last year, Environment Canada predicted national GHG emissions would total 720 megatonnes in 2020.
This year’s update has raised that total to 734 megatonnes—further from, rather than closer to, the 607-megatonne target.
Still, the government says it remains optimistic that emissions intensity—the amount of gases emitted per unit of GDP—is falling year over year.
And it points out that, because of rising emissions elsewhere in the world, Canada’s global share of carbon dioxide emissions from burning fuels actually will fall to 1.6 percent by 2020 from about 1.8 percent today.