Canada has the worst emissions record at the G7 since 2015, says the federal environment commissioner, has been slow to implement plans to meet its current targets after conflicting policies and three decades of missed climate-change pledges Is.
Environment and Sustainable Development Commissioner Jerry DeMarco released a report Thursday that chronicles the federal government’s three decades of failure to translate dialogue into action to cut emissions linked to global warming. Explaining the likely effects of climate on Canada today, their report warns of deaths linked to extreme heat and wildfire smoke, and says that the frequency of natural disasters is rising along with the cost of responding to them. .
“Over the past 30 years, Canada has lagged behind other developed countries, despite recent efforts from a climate leader,” the report said.
“Previous inaction on climate change has created the current crisis. In the meantime, continued inaction unfairly burdens future generations, who will experience even greater impacts from the long-lasting greenhouse gases that already exist.” have been emitted.”
Mr DeMarco told reporters at a news conference he was optimistic Canada could break its streak of “unfulfilled promises”, but added that it lacked immediate and sluggish leadership from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government.
“Not everything that could be done was done. Canada was relatively late at the federal level in taking a leadership position on carbon pricing,” Mr. DeMarco said.
“We cannot move from failure to failure. We don’t just need more goals and plans, but action and results.”
In a joint statement released Thursday, Environment Minister Steven Guilbolt and Natural Resources Minister Jonathan Wilkinson defended the government’s work to date and said that since the Liberal election in 2015, the government has turned the tide.
“In 2015, Canada’s emissions were on a steep climb, projected to be 12 percent higher in 2030 than in 2030, despite Canada’s international commitment to reduce emissions by 30 percent by 2030. Canada on Climate Action Paint The commissioner’s retrospective analysis of records of 2016 paints a vivid picture of the enormous undertaking by the Government of Canada to slow, stop and reverse this upward trend of emissions,” the ministers said.
“We believe we have put in place the fundamentals to take Canada’s climate fight to the next level, including one of the world’s most stringent pollution pricing and rebate programs.”
Following the most recent climate commitments made in Copenhagen, Canada, under former Prime Minister Stephen Harper and the current government in Paris, Mr. DeMarco’s report stated that “the policies and actions outlined in the plans to meet the goals” There has been a reduction in timely implementation.”
The report said that emissions fell by only 1.1 percent from 2005 to 2019. And while the county’s emissions growth has been slower than its economic growth, Canada’s emissions growth since the 2015 Paris Agreement was signed, “making it the worst-performing of all G7 countries.”
On the same day that the Environment Commissioner released its report, the Canada Department for Environment and Climate Change issued a statement introducing Canada’s “whole-society, whole-government” approach at the International Climate Dialogue in Glasgow, known as COP26. , about two several weeks ago. Those talks culminated with summit chairman Alok Sharma apologizing to the countries in tears, saying the agreement was reached but which he still said was worth defending.
With seven international commitments since 1988 and nine plans released since 1990 to meet those goals, Mr. DeMarco said it is not the federal government’s problem to set goals and write plans. Instead, the problem is producing results.
He said that while emissions continue to rise under the current government, it has already set a new target before the completion of its previous work. In April, Mr Trudeau said Canada would cut emissions 40-45 percent below 2005 levels by 2030. The commissioner’s report states that so far the government has announced policies to achieve only 36 per cent.
“If past performance is the best indicator of future performance, the story is not good,” he said, adding that he is still optimistic that Canada can begin to deliver results.
Mr DeMarco told reporters he had not audited the government’s current plan and said it would soon be scrapped along with the new plan, which is expected in early December.
The report said, “While Canada makes a new plan to meet its new targets, this time (unlike its previous plans) the emphasis should be on meeting the target, not just planning.” “
Canadian emissions represent 1.6 percent of global emissions, but the report points out that the state underestimates Canada’s influence on the international picture. The report found that the country is one of the top 10 emitters, has the highest level of emissions per capita, and is “playing a large role in the dangerous accumulation of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere”.
The Liberal government’s own decisions are also affecting its ability to meet the country’s set emissions reduction targets. The cabinet’s June 2019 decision to invest in the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion is “an example of policy inconsistency with progress toward climate commitments”, the report said.
More recently, Mr Trudeau announced a 2020 pandemic assistance program for the oil and gas sector, called the Emissions Reduction Fund for Onshore Facilities, to “ensure reliable and sustainable reductions of greenhouse gas emissions in the oil and gas sector or price”. To” was not created. for the money spent. ,
In his news conference, Mr. DeMarco said he was “very surprised” and “very disappointed” by the approach of the Department of Natural Resources’ $675-million program. It was not doing the tracking needed to estimate net emissions and took a “short-sighted approach” on the program where few companies may have actually increased emissions.
“It was a hastily put together program, but that is still no excuse. Fortunately most of the funds are still in the kitty and they can improve the program before it is too late,” Mr. DeMarco said.
Their report also highlighted a lack of coordination between federal departments and agencies, and between all levels of government in provinces and territories.
It calls on Ottawa to “intensify efforts in the fight against climate change to make up for decades of missed opportunities and missteps.”