World

Canada's Carbon Emissions Set To Rise -- Not Fall -- Over Next Four Years

| by Jimmy King
An oil refinery in British Columbia An oil refinery in British Columbia

Canada is likely to fall short of its climate change goals, according to data released by the country on Jan. 29.

Environmental protection measures adopted by the country will not reduce Canada’s carbon emissions, according to Vice News. 

At the 2009 Copenhagen climate summit, Canada pledged to reduce its carbon (CO2) emissions by 17 percent from their 2005 levels by 2020. 

Canada is now projected to increase its CO2 emissions by between 2 to 5 percent in the same time frame.

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Catherine McKenna, the Canadian minister of environment and climate change, acknowledged that the data suggests a failure to curb carbon emissions.

“The data are clear and confirm that more needs to be done,” McKenna said in a statement.

McKenna noted Canada’s determination to meet the carbon emissions goals set in climate change agreements going forward. 

“Our governments are now moving forward collaboratively to develop a framework and specific actions, including investments in green infrastructure, to meet the commitments we made in Paris in order to close the gap,” she added.

The revelations about Canada’s CO2 emissions follow a new plan to revamp the country’s environmental assessments of energy companies, reports the Financial Post. 

The new system of government assessment will be required before oil and natural gas extraction projects can go forward. The federal government noted that local communities will be involved in the process, and the analysis “must assess the upstream greenhouse gas emissions associated with this project and make this information public," according to FP.

The new environmental impact assessment is projected to delay fossil fuel projects like the Trans Mountain Project. 

Pressure is on new Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s administration to take fast actions to keep Canada’s 2009 Copenhagen commitment. Already, the Trudeau administration has encouraged Canada’s provinces to adopt more carbon taxes. 

Measures like cap and trade taxes in Quebec and Ontario were also included in the recent emissions projection. 

Trudeau’s government is also planning to allocate funds to clean energy projects in the next federal budget. 

Sources: Financial Post, Vice News / Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons, Dean Hochman/Flickr

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