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Canada's GHG emissions forecast inching lower, says environment minister

Last Updated Dec 20, 2019 at 11:54 am PDT

Federal Environment Minister Jonathan Wilkinson announces funding for climate action at the University of Calgary in Calgary, Alta., Tuesday, Dec. 17, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Summary

Federal government narrowing gap between what it promised to achieve under the Paris Agreement

In 2017, Canada accounted for 1.6 per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions

OTTAWA — The federal government says it is narrowing the gap between what it promised to achieve under the Paris Agreement on reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and what it projects will actually happen.

Environment Minister Jonathan Wilkinson says that by the end of the next decade, Canada’s emissions are forecast to be 227 million tonnes below what was projected in 2015.

Canada is expected to lower its emissions of gases that contribute to global warming to 603 million tonnes by 2030.

But that’s still well above the 511 million tonne target Canada committed to under the Paris pact.

Those projections involve taking into account some reduction measures that have been announced but not yet fully implemented.

During the federal election campaign, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau promised to take further steps that would see Canada exceed its 2030 goal and achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2050, a pledge Wilkinson repeated Friday.

“While we have made a lot of progress over the last four years, we know there’s much more to do,” the minister said in a statement.

“We’re committed to exceeding our 2030 Paris target and getting to net-zero emissions by 2050, as well as to putting our five-year targets into law.”

New measures the Liberal government has touted for reducing Canada’s carbon footprint include a plan to plant two billion trees, cutting energy waste and supporting zero-emissions clean tech companies.

In 2017, Canada accounted for 1.6 per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions, according to the most recent United Nations Environment Programme emissions gap report.

Another report published in April indicated Canada is warming at twice the global average, and three times the global rate in Canada’s North.