Screen-Shot-2013-10-26-at-4.03.28-PM.png

Canada Massively Fails to Meet Copenhagen Targets, Calls it “Progress”

Canada's carbon emissions in 2020 will be 20% higher than Harper government's promised reductions under the 2009 Copenhagen Accord. More importantly, Canada's emissions will be 66% to 107% higher than what's actually required to do its share in meeting the 2C global warming target a new Environment Canada report revealed.

That is "significant progress" the report says without irony.

"We're getting results," claimed Environment Minister Leona Agglukaq when asked about the clear failure to meet the Copenhagen target in the House of Commons Thursday. This is a target Canada was more than half way to meeting the former Environment Minister Peter Kent claimed more than a year ago.

"The only real action on climate is increased PR by the Harper government," said John Bennett of the Sierra Club of Canada.

"While the rest of the world is trying to solve the climate crisis, this government is only interested in protecting the interests of the fossil fuel industry," Bennett told DeSmog Canada.

Survey after survey shows that Canadians overwhelmingly want action on climate but are misled by the government's propaganda that something is being done he said.

Emission scenarios from Environment Canada's October 2013 report.

The official Environment Canada emissions report shows the country's 1990 emissions were about 590 million tons. (Caveat: Canada has likely been under reporting its emissions according to an international investigation.) 1990 is the scientific and United Nations baseline year against which emission reductions are measured. Under the Kyoto Protocol, Canada agreed to reduce its emissions by 6% to 554 million tons (Mt) by 2012.

Actual emissions in 2011 were 24% higher than 1990.

In 2011 Canada became the first country in the world to renege on an international climate treaty.

Growth of the tar sands and natural gas sectors, almost all for export, will push Canada's emissions to 734 Mt in 2020. That number should be a lot higher if not for major reductions by cities and provinces, including Ontario closing all of its coal-fired power plants by 2014. 

Scientists estimate that developed countries need to reduce their net carbon emissions by 25 to 40% by 2020 to have a good chance of keeping global warming to no more than 2C. No one considers 2C a safe level of warming.

For Canada to do its fair share, emissions in 2020 should be between 354 and 472 Mt. Instead, Canadian emissions will be 66-107% higher based on the Environment Canada's 2020 estimate.

"Climate Change is a global problem that requires a global solution. Canada, like the European Union, takes its commitments seriously and is doing its part," said Peter Kent, Environment Minister in a March 20, 2013 speech.

In 2012 the European Union reduced its emissions 18% from 1990 and will exceed 20% by 2020.

"Politicians are simply not telling the truth. You can't keep expanding the tar sands and meet the reduction target," Mark Jaccard an energy economist at Simon Fraser University previously told DeSmog.

Canada's obvious duplicity on the climate file is widely known at international levels. Will Canadians continue to allow government ministers to say '1+1 = 5?' 

Like a kid in a candy store
When those boxes of heavily redacted documents start to pile in, reporters at The Narwhal waste no time in looking for kernels of news that matter the most. Just ask our Prairies reporter Drew Anderson, who gleefully scanned through freedom of information files like a kid in a candy store, leading to pretty damning revelations in Alberta. Long story short: the government wasn’t being forthright when it claimed its pause on new renewable energy projects wasn’t political. Just like that, our small team was again leading the charge on a pretty big story

In an oil-rich province like Alberta, that kind of reporting is crucial. But look at our investigative work on TC Energy’s Coastal GasLink pipeline to the west, or our Greenbelt reporting out in Ontario. They all highlight one thing: those with power over our shared natural world don’t want you to know how — or why — they call the shots. And we try to disrupt that.

Our journalism is powered by people just like you. We never take corporate ad dollars, or put this public-interest information behind a paywall. Will you join the pod of Narwhals that make a difference by helping us uncover some of the most important stories of our time?
Like a kid in a candy store
When those boxes of heavily redacted documents start to pile in, reporters at The Narwhal waste no time in looking for kernels of news that matter the most. Just ask our Prairies reporter Drew Anderson, who gleefully scanned through freedom of information files like a kid in a candy store, leading to pretty damning revelations in Alberta. Long story short: the government wasn’t being forthright when it claimed its pause on new renewable energy projects wasn’t political. Just like that, our small team was again leading the charge on a pretty big story

In an oil-rich province like Alberta, that kind of reporting is crucial. But look at our investigative work on TC Energy’s Coastal GasLink pipeline to the west, or our Greenbelt reporting out in Ontario. They all highlight one thing: those with power over our shared natural world don’t want you to know how — or why — they call the shots. And we try to disrupt that.

Our journalism is powered by people just like you. We never take corporate ad dollars, or put this public-interest information behind a paywall. Will you join the pod of Narwhals that make a difference by helping us uncover some of the most important stories of our time?

TC Energy staff claimed they got their ‘really good content’ published in the Wall Street Journal

The Wall Street Journal is staying mum about an allegation it ran an editorial criticizing U.S. President Joe Biden using “really good content” supplied by...

Continue reading

Recent Posts

Our newsletter subscribers are the first to find out when we break a big story. Sign up for free →
An illustration, in yellow, of a computer, with an open envelope inside it with letter reading 'Breaking news.'
Our newsletter subscribers are the first to find out when we break a major investigation. Want in? Sign up for free to get the inside scoop on The Narwhal’s environment and climate reporting.
Hey, are you on our list?
An illustration, in yellow, of a computer, with an open envelope inside it with letter reading 'Breaking news.'
Our newsletter subscribers are the first to find out when we break a major investigation. Want in? Sign up for free to get the inside scoop on The Narwhal’s environment and climate reporting.
Hey, are you on our list?
An illustration, in yellow, of a computer, with an open envelope inside it with letter reading 'Breaking news.'