Canada announces climate commitment and it's weaker than it looks

Today, May 15 '15, over lunch hour, Minister of the Environment Leona Aglukkaq announced Canada will attempt to cut GHG emissions by 30 percent below 2005’s GHG emissions reductions commitments:
The party line. Attacks on the Liberals.


Here is what the Director of Communications for the Min. of the Environment released:
Government of Canada announces 2030 emissions target

Planned measures announced to reduce emissions from oil-and-gas, natural gas-fired electricity, chemicals and nitrogen-fertilizer sectors

May 15, 2015 – Winnipeg, Manitoba – Environment Canada

Environment Minister Leona Aglukkaq announced today that Canada plans to reduce its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 30% below 2005 levels by 2030.

This is a fair and ambitious target that is in line with other major industrialized countries and reflects our national circumstances, including Canada's position as a world leader in clean electricity generation.

Canada has now formally submitted its target, referred to as an intended Nationally Determined Contribution, to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. Canada will continue to take cooperative action with its continental trading partners, particularly the United States, in integrated sectors of the economy, including energy and transportation.

Today, Minister Aglukkaq also announced the Government's intention to develop new regulatory measures under its responsible sector-by-sector approach that would build on the decisive actions taken to date. These include:

Regulations aligned with recently proposed actions in the United States to reduce the potent GHG methane from the oil-and-gas sector. Action in this area would lead to significant reductions in emissions while ensuring Canadian companies remain competitive.
Regulations for natural gas-fired electricity, which would build on Canada's existing coal-fired electricity regulations and strengthen Canada's position as a clean-energy leader.
Regulations for the production of chemicals and nitrogen fertilizers, which would reduce the growth of GHGs from two of the largest sources of emissions in Canada's manufacturing sector.
Canada is a leader in clean-energy technologies and has invested more than $10 billion in technologies to promote innovation and emissions reductions. To build on this success, Canada will focus domestic climate-related investments in innovative technologies to continue to drive further improvements in environmental performance in the oil sands and other growing sectors.

These planned new measures would further broaden the scope of Canada's sector-by-sector approach and build on our record of reducing GHG emissions while keeping Canada's economy strong.

We will work together cooperatively with the provinces and territories while respecting their jurisdiction. The provinces and territories have their own emissions-reduction targets, and they have the authority to take action within their own jurisdictions.

Quick Facts

In 2013, Canada's GHG emissions were 3.1% lower than 2005 levels while the economy grew by 12.9% over the same time period.
The proposed regulatory actions announced today are in addition to recently announced regulations establishing more stringent standards for cars, light trucks, and heavy-duty vehicles, as well as our intent to regulate hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs).
Canada's per capita GHG emissions have fallen to their lowest levels since tracking began while the economy has continued to grow.
Canada's 2020 GHG emissions are projected to be 130 megatonnes (Mt) lower than if no action was taken, an amount roughly equivalent to one year's worth of GHG emissions from all of Canada's road transportation.
As a world leader in clean-electricity generation, Canada boasts one of the cleanest electricity systems in the world, with almost 80% of our electricity supply emitting no GHGs.
The Government is implementing its responsible sector-by-sector regulatory approach to reduce emissions and has already taken action on two of the largest sources of emissions in Canada – transportation and coal-fired electricity.

"Canada's economy and population are both growing. Our Government's record is clear: we have reduced emissions while growing the economy and creating good, well-paying jobs for Canadians.

"Canada's ambitious new target and planned regulatory actions underscore our continued commitment to cut emissions at home and work with our international partners to establish an international agreement in Paris that includes meaningful and transparent commitments from all major emitters. We will work cooperatively with the provinces and territories on these goals while respecting their jurisdiction."

– The Honourable Leona Aglukkaq, Minister of the Environment, Minister of the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency and Minister for the Arctic Council

Related Products

Backgrounder – Canada's Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC) to the Global Climate Change Effort
Backgrounder – New Regulatory Action to Reduce Canada's GHG Emissions
Factsheet - Canada's Action on Climate Change
News release – HFCs
News release – New vehicle regulations
News release – Multi-Sector Air Pollutants Regulations

Ted Laking
Director of Communications
Office of the Minister of the Environment

Media Relations
Environment Canada

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Environment Canada's Facebook page

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Canada’s INDC (Intended Nationally Determined Contributions) as published on the UNFCCC website:                    

Compare these targets with our original Kyoto commitment and the altered baselines which followed:

Here is some coverage and analysis:

Canada’s proposed climate protection target weaker than it looks:

Canada announces weak climate target: