Canada only half way to 2020 emissions goal - Macleans.ca
 

Canada only half way to 2020 emissions goal

Canada well short of international commitment, according to 2014 Emissions Report


 

OTTAWA – Canada remains well short of meeting its international 2020 climate change commitment, Environment Canada reported Monday, even if the economy tanks and global oil and gas prices remain on the skids.

Even under the worst-case scenario, the 2014 Emissions Report says Canada would still fail to cut greenhouse gases 17 per cent below 2005 levels by 2020 — as Canada committed to do under the Copenhagen accord.

The report, which includes measured emissions through 2012, suggests that under its benchmark projection, known as a reference scenario, Canada will get just over halfway to its international commitment.

“The government of Canada is focused on a pragmatic approach to addressing climate change that will reduce emissions while continuing to create jobs and encourage the growth of the economy,” states the report.

Sharply rising GHG emissions in the oil and gas sector will almost completely offset falling greenhouse gases from Canada’s electricity generating sector — leaving Canada 1.2 per cent below 2005 levels if all existing and announced measures remain in place through 2020.

In fact, greenhouse gas emissions will actually increase between 2005 and 2020. But the Conservative government has told the United Nations that it will count the carbon sink contribution of Canada’s boreal forest against its GHG totals.

“As the economy grows beyond 2012 (the latest year available for historical emissions levels), total emissions are projected to increase,” states the report.

The report comes as Environment Minister Leona Aglukkaq is in Lima, Peru, for international talks on the next global climate accord, which is supposed to be finalized in December 2015.

“It’s absolutely a black eye for us internationally,” NDP environment critic Megan Leslie said in an interview.

The Conservative mantra has long been that the world’s major emitters must all be at the table, Leslie said — a tune that hasn’t changed even after last month’s agreement between the world’s two biggest emitters, China and the U.S.

“It’s all happening around us and we’re not a party to that conversation.”

The report shows Canada will be 116 megatonnes short of its 2020 commitment under the reference scenario, giving it a “snowball’s chance in hell” of meeting its international target, said Liberal critic John McKay.

Environment Canada used three different scenarios for estimating emissions to 2020.

Under a case of booming economic growth and high fossil fuel prices, Canada would emit 781 megatonnes of GHGs in 2020, far above the 611 Mt target under Copenhagen.

The reference scenario sees Canada emitting 746 megatonnes in 2020, about 53 per cent of the way to its target, while anemic annual growth of 1.5 per cent annually and low global prices for oil and gas could get Canada down to 716 Mt.

The benchmark price of crude oil is off nearly 40 per cent since July, the lowest it’s been in five years, and has continued to slide since the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries decided to maintain its production last month rather than cut it in order to support prices.

What’s clear from the report is that the oil and gas sector is driving emissions growth and will continue to do so through 2020 under current government policies.

Environment Canada projects oil and gas emissions will rise 45 Mt over 2005 levels by 2020, almost offsetting the 50 Mt drop in electricity generation emissions for the same period. The other significant area of GHG growth is from buildings, up 14 Mt by 2020.

The Conservatives have been promising regulations on the oil and gas sector since 2008 but keep punting action into some indefinite future.

“I don’t understand how the environment minister can continue to stall on limiting emissions from the oil industry when her own ministry’s data shows that the rapidly rising pollution from the tar sands is what prevents Canada from keeping its word on the world stage,” said Keith Stewart of Greenpeace Canada.


 

Canada only half way to 2020 emissions goal

  1. Anyone in the country believe we’d ever even come close to meeting this target?

  2. “…But the Conservative government has told the United Nations that it will count the carbon sink contribution of Canada’s boreal forest against its GHG totals.”

    How do they justify factoring this in? “Look at all the trees we didn’t cut down; surely that counts for something?” Or do they think these forests are new?

    Boneheads!!!

    • They figure they’ll all be raptured away before things get difficult. Something like 40% of Americans believe Armageddon will happen in their lifetime.

  3. Glo-Bull Warming is the biggest fraud ever perpetrated in human history.

    CO2 is not a pollutant.

    Without CO2 there would be no photosynthesis, no plants, no oxygen, no life.

    Water vapour is the most abundant greenhouse gas.

    The climate is always in a state of change.

    The suns solar radiation has more effect on earths climate than any other factor.

    One large volcanic eruption puts more gases and particulates into the atmosphere than human kind has since walking upright.

    For those who are convinced that CO2 is bad, just stop exhaling.

  4. “More trouble looms for the IPCC. The body may need to revise statements made in its Fourth Assessment Report on hurricanes and global warming. A statistical analysis of the raw data shows that the claims that global hurricane activity has increased cannot be supported…tests six IPCC statements against raw data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric (NOAA) Administration…”When you average the number of storms and their strength, it almost exactly balances.” This isn’t indicative of an increase in atmospheric energy manifesting itself in storms…The IPCC continues: “It is more likely than not (> 50%) that there has been some human contribution to the increases in hurricane intensity.” But, as Hatton points out, that conclusion comes from computer climate models, not from the observational data, which show no increase…”The IPCC goes on to make statements that would never pass peer review,”…”

    And btw, Kevin Trenberth, the major IPCC climate scientist, and also co-author with the notorious Peter Gleick, is the principal player behind the global warming alarmism “science” of hurricanes.

    “The IPCC’s AR4 chapter lead was Kevin Trenberth, who features prominently in the Climategate emails. In 2005, the National Hurricane Center’s chief scientist Chris Landsea resigned his post in protest at the treatment of the subject by Trenberth…”I personally cannot in good faith continue to contribute to a process that I view as both being motivated by pre-conceived agendas and being scientifically unsound. As the IPCC leadership has seen no wrong in Dr. Trenberth’s actions and have retained him as a Lead Author for the AR4, I have decided to no longer participate in the IPCC AR4.”

    Hmmm…maybe Trenberth’s personna of climate science incompetence is instead an actual embracement of the ‘Peter Gleick’ methodology, no?