Greens disturbed by latest report on Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions

April 17, 2020

OTTAWA – The Green Party of Canada is concerned by an increase in Canada’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions for 2018, as outlined in the national inventory report submitted to the United Nations this week by Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC). Canada recorded 729 million tonnes of GHG emissions for 2018, up 15 million tonnes from 2017.

“Obviously during this unprecedented time, when all our efforts must focus on the human health threat posed by COVID-19, it may seem inappropriate to raise climate concerns,” said Green parliamentary leader Elizabeth May (MP, Saanich-Gulf Islands). “But this news, that Canada’s efforts as of the end of 2018 are failing, must be flagged. Given that emissions went up in 2018, our post-COVID climate plans must be far more aggressive. We need to maintain our ‘all hands on deck approach’ to the pandemic to address the climate challenge. We must prioritize investments in a low-carbon recovery.”

ECCC is responsible for developing and reporting reliable, accurate and timely GHG inventories as part of its obligations under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

Ms. May points out that under the terms of the Paris Agreement, Canada should have submitted a new emissions target – known as a nationally determined contribution (NDC) – earlier this year. “Even though COP26 has been postponed to 2021, Canada’s improved target is due in 2020. February 9 was the deadline for Canada and other countries to submit their NDCs. Unfortunately, Canada did not meet that deadline and we are now in the midst of a pandemic that is understandably drawing on all our resources. However, to be responsible and bear our fair share, we must reduce our GHGs to 60 per cent below 2005 levels by 2030. I hope that once we are able to refocus our attention back to the climate emergency, all government departments will increase their efforts to incorporate stronger climate adaptation to their portfolios.”

Mission Possible – the Green Climate Action Plan outlines a robust path forward for a just and fair transition to a green economy.

“As we emerge from this pandemic and recovery efforts unfold, a robust plan for a fair and just energy transition will be essential,” said Green Party Interim Leader Jo-Ann Roberts. “ This offers Canadians a real opportunity to invigorate the clean energy sector which will significantly reduce our emissions and enable us to meet the targets set by the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). This tragic crisis has reminded us of the importance of national and global collaboration. It has also demonstrated the ability of governments to adapt, and provide strong leadership in a crisis situation. We can use this experience as a template of how to move forward and not go back to our old ways of doing things.”

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