Canada announced it will cut carbon pollution by 30% below 2005 levels by 2030 as part of this year’s international climate negotiations in Paris.
While any action regarding Canada’s efforts to reduce its carbon emissions is an improvement over its current situation, the proposed target is far weaker than pledges from the US and EU.
The US has committed to cut carbon pollution 26% to 28% from 2005 levels by 2025—five years ahead of Canada’s deadline, while the European Union will drastically outpace Canada with its commitment to reduce carbon pollution by 40% below 1990 levels by 2030.
Canada’s plan for cutting dangerous greenhouse gases is also filled with loopholes and falls short of what’s needed to legitimately combat climate change.
73% of Canada’s skyrocketing carbon emissions over the last 25 years is directly attributable to the the Alberta tar sands, yet this Canada’s climate action plan includes nothing to address the tar sands issue.
Instead this plan focuses on international offsets as part of a scheme to reduce carbon pollution while relying on “questionable” carbon accounting practices in the forestry and land use sectors.
350.org’s Cameron Fenton said:
These targets are a nice gesture, but for now that’s all they are, because the numbers here simply don’t add up. There’s no way Canada can hope to cut emissions by a third while this administration is still pursuing every possible opportunity to dig up the tar sands. Scientists have told us over and over that averting climate disaster means leaving virtually all tar sands in the ground; and until our government starts taking real steps to achieve that, these announcements are little more than pie-in-the-sky PR.
Its weak climate plan places its people, communities and economy at risk by failing to ensure the country joins the global march toward clean energy.
The announcement places Canada alongside Japan as one of the biggest climate laggards in the G7.
Louise Comeau, Executive Director of Climate Action Network Canada said:
What’s needed is a moratorium on new oil sands development and a complete phase-out of coal from the electricity sector combined with a commitment to replace these dirty sources of energy with renewable energy supported by investments in energy efficiency and conservation. Unfortunately, today’s announcement, while a step forward, does not put Canada on track to deep decarbonization.
In a matter of weeks, the G7 countries are set to meet in Germany and climate change will likely be on the agenda.
While Canada’s climate action plan is deeply flawed, it does show that nations are committed to this year’s climate negotiation process as they continue to submit concrete plans for avoiding the worst consequences of climate change.