Canada running behind on pollution reduction

by BuryCoal on February 14, 2011

in Climate change, Climate science

On their climate change website, Canada’s government openly admits that the actions they have proposed so far will only achieve 1/4 of the climate target they have set for themselves:

Added together, all these existing government actions are expected to reduce GHG emissions by 65 Mt by 2020. This is about one quarter of the reductions in GHG emissions needed to meet Canada’s 2020 target. The regulation of other economic sectors and the further strengthening of existing regulations over time – along with complementary measures by provinces and territories – are expected to continue this momentum.

That target, in turn, isn’t an adequate contribution to the global pursuit of decarbonization.

Note also that when they say ‘reduce GHG emissions by 65 Mt’ they don’t mean ‘reduce GHG emissions to 65 Mt below where they are now.’ Rather, they mean ‘reduce GHG emissions to 65 Mt lower than we think they would have been if we did nothing.’ Under the current plan, they still expect emissions to be higher in 2020 than they are now.

As the recent Royal Society report on the oil sands pointed out, climate change is an area where Canada’s current government has a real lack of answers.

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

. February 13, 2012 at 10:35 am

PO: So just to be clear, Canada is still committed to its Copenhagen commitment of reducing GH emissions to 17 per cent below 2005 levels by 2020.

PETER KENT: Absolutely. We are fully committed. We will continue to work toward meeting the Copenhagen commitments made by the prime minister, and to our fast-start financing commitments, $1.2 billion, for which we’re rolling out most of years two and three now, simply because it’s more effective to do it that way.

Nor December 1, 2015 at 12:50 pm

That rebuttal nceily sums up a lot of the accepted facts of unwavering peakoilers, e.g. that it’s been conclusively shown that oil price hikes are linked to recession (not really; e.g. wrong macro policy responses to oil-led inflation often tried to tackle it by raising interest rates, which just compounded the problem and possibly triggered recession by itself; uncertainty in price is often more important to investment decisions that which direction it’s going in, given that fuel costs are actually not a large % of overall costs.)It’s beside the point too, as Dan M points out. And of course the issue isn’t absolutely cannot be treated separately from considering ALL carbon fuel sources, especially gas and coal which can both, at the right price, get built into the economy’s nervous system.MT: All of this argument completely obscures the main issue. We are not interested in cutting greenhouse emissions per unit of energy in half. The situation is such that this is not worth the infrastructure cutover. We should leave most of the gas in the ground along with most of the coal. Claims about local environmental impacts promote innumerate thinking about global issues and do not seem sufficient (as confirmed by the Royal Society) to win the day. // But the tactic of focusing on local impacts is doubly ill-advised because it is a distraction from the real issue. // The issue is global carbon emissions. Fracking will fry us. Will. Not may, will. A couple of bad operations might also cause some local damage, or might not. Which of these issues deserves more of your attention? This is a brilliant, hard-hitting comment making the ground-truth point very strongly. Perhaps the basis for a slightly longer article? We need to start getting as many people as possible realising this. We need to keep it in the ground, and until this is at least realised, we can’t even begin to work out how. Like Monbiot though, I’m doubtful that it’s at all possible. We may just be a peculiar kind of intelligent bacteria, able to be individually aware of what we’re doing but collectively utterly incapable of doing a fart about it. Yearly emission rates continue to increase.Though I suppose it also implies we have to devote more resources to asking: what world are we going to face, and what, if anything, is in our toolkit to help as many people as possible endure it? Most present research is built on the assumption that we’re actually going to attempt a successful transition. At the moment that doesn’t appear to be true pending some miracle energy tech discovery. (Though from Bob Grumbine on how we’re doing even with weather we should expect.)

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