Canada has committed to emission reductions at home of 2.7% below 1990 levels by the year 2020. (Or 20% below 2006 levels by 2020 as the government phrases it). Remember that we committed years ago to 6% below 1990 level target by the year 2012 via the Kyoto Protocol.
I am confident that the government recognizes the scientific advice of achieving 25 to 40% emission reductions globally below 1990 levels by 2020. Yet our target doesn’t seem to match up.
To put this in perspective, Japans statement of a much higher level, -15% by 2020, received a response from Yvo de Boer (general secretary of the UN Convention on Climate Change) of, “For the first time in 2.5 years in this job, I don’t know what to say.”
He continued to say that the emission reduction plans to date leave developed countries “a long, long way from the ambitious reduction scenarios” that scientists say are needed.
In addition, almost all other developed countries are submitting targets more ambitious than Canada. For example: European Union: 20-30%, Australia: 5-25%, United States: 17-24%. Studies show that it is economically feasible for Canada to achieve the 25 to 40% by 2020: this target is ambitious, though certainly possible.
What is it going to take for Canada to gain leadership? Quite possibly the voice of the people. I’ve written my letter to our Minister of Environment. Have you?
About the authorZoë Caron
Co-Author, Global Warming for Dummies. Climate Policy & Advocacy Specialist, WWF-Canada. Past president, Sierra Club Canada. Editor, ItsGettingHotInHere.org