Canada should follow lead of UK on GHG reduction

The Green Party of Canada welcomes British Prime Minister David Cameron to Canada and hopes that he can impart some valuable lessons to the Canadian government on how to deal with the climate crisis.   “The United Kingdom has an impressive record in their efforts to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions,” said Green Leader Elizabeth May.  “Canadian parliamentarians should make use of this opportunity to ask Mr. Cameron questions as to how a country can take action on climate change and still be prosperous.”

Mr. Cameron will address Members of Parliament and Senators on Thursday.

This spring, the United Kingdom set a binding target to cut their greenhouse gas emissions 50% below 1990 levels by 2027. They are strongly committed to a second commitment phase for Kyoto and are showing leadership by having a legally binding target beyond 2020.  As part of the European Union, the UK Kyoto target was a reduction in greenhouse gases of 8% below 1990 levels by 2012. They are now 27% below. Canada’s original Kyoto target was 6% below 1990 levels by 2012; however, that target was later changed by the Conservative government to 3% above 1990 levels by 2020 (17% below 2005 levels by 2020).  Right now, Canada’s emissions are almost 30% above 1990 levels.

Under Kyoto, the collective of 41 industrialized Annex 1 countries committed to an overall reduction of 5% below 1990 levels.  This target has now been met, despite Canada’s failure.

“Other countries are doing the heavy lifting with regard to meeting Kyoto targets while Canada’s emissions continue to rise,” said May. “We are not pulling our weight and we need to get on board fast and in a serious way.”

“Europe and the United Kingdom have shown real leadership on the climate crisis and I sincerely hope that Mr. Cameron’s visit provides our government with some inspiration to take action,” said May.  “The United Kingdom has realized that a genuine plan to reduce greenhouse gases can spur economic innovation and in future will see their country be more competitive and more resilient.  We hope Canada will join the UK in calling for a second commitment period under Kyoto.”