Canada ranks worst on climate policy among industrialized countries: report


OTTAWA – Environment Minister Leona Aglukkaq arrived at a climate change conference in Warsaw late Monday amid exceedingly low expectations.

A European report released to coincide with the United Nations conference ranks Canada 55th of 58 countries in terms of tackling greenhouse gas emissions, ahead of only Iran, Kazakhstan and Saudi Arabia.

A Washington-based group, the Center for Global Development, issued a separate report Monday that ranked Canada 27th on the environment out of the world’s wealthiest 27 countries.

And a new national Environics Institute telephone poll in partnership with the David Suzuki Foundation suggests public confidence in government as the lead actor in addressing climate change has slumped considerably — down six percentage points from the 59 per cent recorded a year ago.

The annual UN climate conference is in its second week of talks as negotiators in Warsaw move toward developing a post-2020 international climate change regime. The goal is to deliver a new model at the 2015 summit in Paris.

“Canada is taking a leadership role in international climate change efforts by focusing on delivering significant environmental and economic benefits for all Canadians,” Aglukkaq said in a government press release marking her departure for Warsaw.

“The government of Canada is committed to establishing a fair and effective climate change agreement that includes commitments by all major emitters.”

According to the latest annual report by the Climate Action Network Europe and Germanwatch, Canada is starting from the back of the pack.

“As in the previous year, Canada still shows no intention of moving forward with climate policy and therefore remains the worst performer of all industrialized countries,” states the report, released Monday in Warsaw.

The comparative report, which has been compiled annually by environmental activists since 2005, shows Canada at the bottom of the industrialized world in terms of emissions per capita, development of renewable energy and international climate policy.

However the report’s heavy weighting on policy direction will provide plenty of fuel for skeptics.

China, the subject of international attention this year over deadly air pollution, “improved its performance compared to the previous year and climbed up to rank 46,” said the study, despite China being the biggest emitter of CO2 on the planet.

China was actually 43rd among 58 countries ranked, but the group leaves the first three spots empty to reflect room for improvement from even the top-ranked country, Denmark.

A chart in the study showed that China, with almost 19.5 per cent of the global population, was responsible for almost 23 per cent of global emissions. Canada, with 0.5 per cent of global population, emitted 1.6 per cent of global GHG emissions.

Last month, Environment Canada’s own analysis showed Canada slipped further away over the past year from meeting its 2020 greenhouse emissions targets.

Under the 2009 Copenhagen Accord, Prime Minister Stephen Harper committed to cutting emissions 17 per cent from 2005 levels by 2020. Canada is on pace to get only halfway there.

Even if long-overdue government regulations on the oil and gas sector are imposed, Environment Canada does not foresee a scenario where the 2020 target will be met.

The highly polarized debate, in which the Canadian government claims “significant” environmental benefits while Canada gets trashed by international climate change activists, appears to have taken its toll on public opinion.

Environics surveyed 2,003 respondents between Oct. 1-17 this fall and found that belief in the science on climate change still isn’t back where it was in 2007 “when climate change was the hot new issue.”

Six in 10 respondents said they believe that climate change is real and caused by human activity, a marginal increase over 2012 in the annual poll, but still well back of the 65 per cent who said they believed in 2007.

The poll is considered accurate within 2.2 percentage points, 19 times in 20.

And while government — rather than voluntary actions by industry or consumer — is still seen as the most significant component in tackling climate change, the percentage of respondents who believe government is essential to the fight is down to 53 per cent this year, from 59 per cent in 2012.

“It’s clear they’re starting to lose trust in the federal government,” Ian Bruce of the Suzuki Foundation said in an interview.

“The government has not backed up its talk with action.”

Bruce said the good news is that provinces and municipalities are taking the lead on tackling climate change.

Note to readers: This is a corrected story. An earlier version had Canada ranked 58th out of 61 countries.


Canada ranks worst on climate policy among industrialized countries: report

  1. “public confidence in government as the lead actor in addressing climate change has slumped considerably — down six percentage points from the 59 per cent recorded a year ago”
    I highly doubt that public CONfidence in this government was ever anywhere near 59%!

  2. This isn’t about climate change, it is about wealth redistribution. I hope our gov’t remains ‘the best’ against such nonsense.

    “Last year in Doha, Qatar, the treaty’s Executive Secretary Christiana Figueres told the world that the purpose of the UNFCCC is a “complete transformation of the economic structure of the world.” The scheme is to use the eternally unpredictable weather that affects everyone to manipulate a transfer of wealth from rich to poor nations, which in turn degrades every nation’s standard of living.” – See more at: http://www.cfact.org/2013/11/14/cop-19-show-me-the-money/#sthash.yWwNuoiS.dpuf

      • The Copenhagen ‘save the world’ treaty clearly stated that it was designed to redistribute wealth.
        Being skeptical of what you read is a great idea, and actually reading the treaties you support might be a good idea as well…
        Your mileage may vary.

        • It used that wording precisely, right? No way you just gave me your interpretation of Copehagen?

          • Canada would have to pay about ten billion a year in ‘climate reparations’ to the UN.
            Look it up, and maybe next time read the &%#@% treaty before declaring your undying love for it.

          • Where did I declare my undying love for the treaty, moron!

            In any case i’d bet your figures are pure overhyped bs.

          • The current system is definitely the favourite of freeloaders like you – dump as much carbon as we want into the atmosphere and make other people pay!

  3. Its all about other peoples money. Fear for money. Weather has been changing for 4.5 billion years and more of the same expected in the future.

    Ok, I bite, lets stop burning carbon and freeze to death, then no farm food for billions, are these eco-scare groups going to decide with part of the over populated world is going to starve so nations like Canda can burn less CO2?

    Maybe these eco-scare types should consider Canada would have farming food, resources we use to live longer and better if it were not for CO2.

    Maybe eco-scare for other peoples money should consider that if we as a species don’t control population growth, we are setting up for a world of hurt and it isn’t my jobs or furnaces fault I want to stay warm in a fringed country. More people is more CO2 no mater how you cut it.

    Given Canada is a cold country, and the food we supply we are actually pretty efficient in fuel consumption considering. We use more tech to reduce burn, less wasteful than most other countries.

    Fact is Suzuki and others are about eco-scare for money. When they do a proper root cause analysis or practical solution and get rational, I will then to begin to listen. I don’t even disagree its changing, I just disagree that myopic other peoples money minds have the right concepts in place to address the real problem.

    • You might be somewhat right here, but that doesn’t mean that Canada (and other countries!!!) can sit back and relax and ignore clearly arising problems. And as it is also clear that scientific data is no longer free to be released for everyone to read in Canada, I think this is more a fear of losing money (perhaps in investments made in tar sands and possible future pipe lines).

      Already there are plenty of solutions available to reduce pollution to a minimum, and when implemented on a larger scale the technology will only improve and become cheaper. In terms of growing and harvesting foods, energy efficiency in heat and cooling (depending where you live in the world), transportation, re-using energy, etc there are already so many ideas and working prototypes that basically it just makes it stupid for a country to not go into this deeper. The thing is though, it means such a big change for a lot of big companies and maybe even governments which depend on income on fossil fuels, that they would like to postpone it all as long as possible. In the case of companies, one can understand it perhaps. In terms of governments though, they’re supposed to be there for the people they’re supposed to govern, for all generations. They should not be allowed to ignore this, but should be addressing it with great perseverance no matter how inconvenient it might be. They should be doing that for you!

      I agree with you that more people is more CO2, but I also think that the amount of CO2 p/person could be greatly reduced. I also agree that a lot of eco-scare people may be too drastic on the changes they want without thinking through the consequences. This also works the other way around though: those who agree that climate is changing but are saying we are too dependent on fossil fuel and money so we can’t change anything, are also not looking far enough to see possible solutions.

      In any case, there is plenty of energy coming to our planet and coming off of our planet (which when combined will easily be way more energy than burning fossils) and we need to find a way to hitchhike along those energy paths and make full use of them. (It will also create new technological developments which are key too boosting economies as well). Everybody knows that not doing this will have far too great consequences for far too many people to just say “whatever” which makes it both hilarious and frightening at the same time when you find that too many people are saying just that.

  4. From the loss of glaciers and arctic ice, it’s obvious that the climate is changing far faster than anytime in probably millions of years. From science developed in the 1800s, it’s obvious that man-made greenhouse gases, mostly CO2 and methane, are causing it. There are thousands of real scientists and scientific papers that support the science, all nicely summarised by the IPCC.
    Current rates of fossil fuel consumption will lead to a world that is eventually inconsistent with current populations as sea levels rise enough to swamp all of our coastal cities, the temperatures are too hot for crops to germinate, and storms and droughts grow stronger, but hopefully that will take many years.
    The next 20-30 years will be fine for Canada which has enough money to adapt as much as necessary and buy the food we need. Selling fossil fuels makes us wealthy, raises our GDP, and that’s what counts. After that, why should I care because I probably won’t be alive. Why would I vote for anyone who wants to change our economy now for the benefit of my grandchildren ? I won’t even be here.

    • “it’s obvious that the climate is changing far faster than anytime in probably millions of years”

      If you look at the Vostok Petit data on temperatures you will see quick movements in temperatures right before an ice age. So this is quite normal.


    • Hide the decline!!!

  5. Finally #1 Go Canada Go, Globull Warming can Pound Salt……………

    • Are you aka Billy Bob?

  6. Canada is pig ignorant and proud of it…a new low for our country.

    • Not really that new. Decades in the making. A real proud “mission accomplished” moment for the LPC-CPC coalition.

      • Oh puleeze. Political parties can’t ‘make you dumb’….you do that all by yourself.

        Libs are 180 from Cons anyway.

        • You need to refresher course in modern Canadian history. Under the Liberals, Canada ignored the Kyoto agreement and allowed emissions to rise at a faster rate than they did in the states under Bush. Even the most insanely ignorant LPC supporter can’t support their record on the environment. The CPC-LPC are lock step on this issue. Dion wasn’t, but that’s why Bay Street gave him the bum’s rush.

          • You need a reading comprehension course.

          • What am I supposed to retort: lobotomy? How about we judge a political party by their history and their policies?

            Vote with your brain, not with what’s in your pants.

          • 42% of Canadians are functionally illiterate. You’re one of them.

          • Learn the difference between 180 and 360. You’re lost in the spin.

          • Even more people are innumerate….you’re one of those as well.


          • Stay classy.

          • Nonsense.

  7. What an embarrassment for Canada especially Harpers Conservative party. Anybody who supports the Harper government is a danger to Canada and the World. Canada should be in the lead fighting Global Warming, but we are the worst. We are pushing Dirty oil and gas but have no policy to supply Canada. Our gas reserves could last us hundreds of years yet we are doing everything we can to use it up as fast as we can. Now the Harper government is forcing British Columbians to seriously endanger our Coast and province with pipelines and giant super tankers which will fail, and for what? Money! Throw the bums out NOW

    • In fairness, he is merely building on the LPC legacy. Let’s not kid ourselves.

      • Your concern is readily apparent, promich: you are shilling for NDP. There is an article up for discussion here, and it helps to focus on the here and now, and not the made up in your crazy little noggin. Unless you care more about useless partisan swipes than you do the environment and our place in the world.

        • Actually, I’m shilling for my country and its future. It must be tough to live with the shame of your party’s legacy. Here’s a tip patchouli: you don’t have to. Might just be time to remove the paper bag.

          • Okay, at least you admit you are here to shill; that gives the rest of us the opportunity to skip over comments if that’s not why we came to this thread. Carry on. You won’t feel good when you wake up on the morning after the election, but at least now we all know what you’re doing and why you’re here at all.

  8. Call it the Harper- mis-dis-information formula.
    Neo-Cons should NOT govern this country.

    • He had help from a decade of the LPC – let’s not forget!

      • And lest we forget that at least the Liberals were trying to head in the right direction when they were taken out of office. If the NDP are such “green ‘ people, why did they fight so hard against Dion’s carbon tax? Why do they fight for lower gasoline taxes in Ontario-ya, that will really reduce carbon emissions! The NDP like to talk a good game about global warming, but if they have to choose between the environment or populism, they choose populism every time.

  9. A real LPC-CPC “Mission Accomplished” moment!

    Take a bow Chrétien, Martin and Harper! Bay Street salutes you all!

    • And I salute you: does your back get sore from all those contortions? Cray-cray partisan troller?

      • Sorry, but I vote on history and policy.

        If you choose to vote based on fantasy, that’s your decision.

        • So do you have any approach for commenting on articles, other than partisan shilling?

          • Look, there comes a time when voters need to come together to reverse the direction their country is going in. The environmental catastrophy is of such a magnitude that it can only be addressed at the national and international levels. Forget partisan – you have refused to consider policy or history when discussing politics – I have no how idea how to begin to understand such an attitude.

            If you care more about shilling for a party that has declared a decades long war on the environment instead of your children’s future, I feel sorry for you.

          • I fail to see how your diatribes are in any way a discussion of either policy or history. I came here to see what people were saying about Canada’s latest honour under the Harp regime, and find yet an other NDP partisan shreiking about the LPC of days of yore. So tell me, concern troll: exactly HOW are voters ever going to come together if you try to attract new NDP voters by crapping all over whoever they supported last time? And for your info: I generally DO vote NDP in federal elections, in a pathetic attempt to rid the nation of steve harper. I don’t like the NDP current leadership, and I also don’t appreciate NDP clubbing at Liberals and Greens. So go ahead and troll away, but don’t expect to not get called out for it. As I told another commenter, who likely is you with another name, go ahead and diss the folks you need to win over.

          • Which environmental catastrophy is that?
            I must have missed it….

          • Go north and pretend you’re a polar bear. Or use your brain and google it.

          • I work in the Arctic, and have for ten years.
            No problems up here, are you sure you got your instructions right?

  10. $100.00 to anyone who can explain how the Kyoto treaty would reduce CO2 and real pollution.
    Easy money folks, step right up!

    All you have to do is explain how bankrupting our own clean factories while giving the higher polluting factories in China a pass will result in less pollution and CO2.
    Try google, after 20 years of pumping this treaty surely someone must have an explanation of HOW it would actually work.

    As I said, easy money….grade 8 economics can’t be THAT hard…..

    • Really, I read it on the internet. It must be true…

  11. Maybe if Harper named his dog COP 19….?
    It worked for Dion, all he did was name his dog after a stupid treaty and the greens were soiling their knickers at the mere mention of his name.

  12. I’ll fix the planet for you and stabilize the temperature, just send me a couple of billion bucks and I’ll get right on it.
    Do it for the children!

    • Do it for the Ice Bears, so that they can increase their range,
      all the way to, Ice Age covered New York

  13. I must admit I was a bit chapped when we didn’t clean up on the Fossil Of The Day awards but this singular honour takes the sting out of that.

  14. No wonder people just laugh at anyone reading Macleans these days!
    A poll drummed up by the Suzuki foundation?
    A few weeks ago they cooked up a doozy; Suzuki was ranked by their poll as the most trusted man in Canada.
    Which isn’t that surprising since they had a small list of people to compare him to, and one of them was a pedophile.
    They must know they have to lower the bar a long way if they include a pedophile as his competition.

    • “David Suzuki’s deep thoughts September 26”
      Sun News — Good watch.

  15. The Conservative would do themselves a favor by ignoring this report, it a biased report from the UN, it is nothing but a socialist agenda to dictate Canadian laws. Canada is a prosperous and successful nation without the UN.

    • Prosperous Conservatives and Liberals can both be counted on to do themselves favours while they make excuses for their ignorance. That’s why Canada has earned a total FAIL on environmental policy and climate change.

  16. To those that think this is a partisan problem…
    C02 emissions (metric tonnes) per capita
    1993: 16.7
    2006: 16.8
    2010: 14.6

    Total emissions under Chretien-Martin? Up 25%. Total emissions under Harper? Down 9.3%.

    I also find the absence of Australia in the bottom three rather puzzling. Australia has higher emissions than us per capita, and their emissions have been getting higher, not lower.

  17. Quick!
    Someone name their dog after a failed socialist scam and all will be well!

  18. Russia, India, and the US are ahead of Canada in terms of tackling greenhouse gas emissions????

    • IPCC disinformation Mercenaries lie, scaremonger for effect.

  19. Less CO2 released under Harpoon — Watch
    “Climate change report: science fiction. By Ezra Levant on September”

  20. Sad that people are ridiculing this like it isn’t happening. We have been for a long time now near the bottom per capita. If you live in a place where you can’t see it – it can’t be happening? We have a global reputation folks and it ain’t nice anymore. Where are you all going to hide when this just keeps on happening? Stick your head in the sand and say whatever sarcastic comment comes to mind and all is well?

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