Editorial cartoon by Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – Saturday May 16, 2015
Canada’s new emissions target far from ambitious, critics say
Canada has set a new greenhouse gas emission reduction target as it prepares for international talks later this year, but critics say the goal is the weakest among G7 countries.
Environment Minister Leona Aglukkaq said Friday that Canada proposes to cut emissions to 30 per cent below 2005 levels by 2030 — a target she called “fair and ambitious.”
Speaking in Winnipeg, Aglukkaq promised to introduce new regulations on methane emissions produced by the oil and gas industry. There will also be new rules for natural gas-fired power generation and for the chemical and nitrogen fertilizer industries.
“This target is . . . an ambitious commitment based on our national circumstances, which include a growing population, a diversified, growing economy and Canada’s position as a world leader in clean electricity generation.”
The target is slightly weaker than that of the United States, which has pledged to cut its greenhouse emissions by up to 28 per cent from 2005 levels by 2025.
Canada, the U.S. and other countries are taking their targets to a United Nations conference later this year in Paris, where a new international emissions regime is to be negotiated.
Environmental groups said Canada’s target is anything but ambitious.
“The European Union, already with per-capita emissions well below Canada’s, has a 40 per cent reduction target for 2030 — more than five times greater than Canada’s,” the group Environmental Defence said in a statement.
“To keep our people, communities and economy safe requires that Canada join the global community in making deep cuts to carbon pollution by shifting away from burning coal, oil and gas,” read a statement from the Climate Action Network. (Source: Hamilton Spectator)
Published in the Brandon Sun, Gull Lake Advance, National Newswatch, and The Saskatoon Star Phoenix