Premiers Clark, Prentice to Skip Quebec City Climate Summit

On Friday afternoon, federal Environment Minister Leona Aglukkaq sent a letter to Canadian premiers detailing how each of their provinces are falling short on targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 2020.

In her message Aglukkaq notes that the provinces of Alberta and British Columbia are the furthest from reaching their targets. Ontario, Saskatchewan and Quebec are next on the list.

Unfortunately, neither B.C Premier Christy Clark nor Alberta Premier Jim Prentice will be attending tomorrow’s Premiers' Summit on Climate Change in Quebec City.

Bloomberg News reported on Friday afternoon that Clark would be skipping the meeting to attend a World Bank meeting. On Monday morning the Office of the Premier of Alberta confirmed to DeSmog Canada via phone that Prentice would not be attending the summit either.

As part of its 2020 targets, British Columbia pledged to reduce its annual greenhouse gas emissions from 62 gigatonnes per year to 42 gigatonnes per year. Environment Canada predicts British Columbia’s emissions will actually rise to 69 gigatonnes per year by 2020. More distressingly, these figures do not account for the new emissions that would be created by new liquefied natural gas development or the two oilsands pipeline and tanker projects under consideration.

Alberta projects its emissions will increase from 232 gigatonnes per year to 260 gigatonnes per year by 2020. Environment Canada expects emissions will rise to 287 gigatonnes per year instead.

In total, the gap between B.C. and Alberta’s targets and their projected emissions is 54 gigatonnes per year, or approximately 0.1 per cent of the world’s total GHG emissions in 2010.

Finding ways to reduce these emissions through collaborative action is the focus of tomorrow’s climate summit in Quebec City. Organized by Quebec Premier Phillipe Couillard, the one-day summit is also an opportunity to finalize the Canadian Energy Strategy.

Earlier today, Ontario and Quebec signed a groundbreaking cap-and-trade deal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The plan — which shares many elements of the one implemented by Quebec in January of this year — requires companies to reduce their emissions or purchase credits from other companies as an offset and is co-managed with the U.S. state of California.

Nova Scotia's Premier Stephen McNeil also confirmed they will not attend the Premiers' Climate Summit.

To find out more about where each province stands on climate action, read our DeSmog Primer.

Image Credit: Province of British Columbia via Flickr

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