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Environment Commissioner: Canada Losing The Climate War

Oil Sands

Canada is not doing enough to reduce its carbon footprint, the federal Environment Commissioner, Julie Gelfand, said in her parting comments.

Gelfand, as quoted by the Globe and Mail, said a string of federal governments have failed to advance the country’s efforts in fighting climate change, calling this “disturbing” and calling for more effort to be put in this direction.

The failure to live up to promises, however, may be a result of simply too ambitious goals. Canada has committed to reduce its carbon emissions by 30 percent below levels from 2005 and do this by 2030. However, recent calculations suggest it would not be able to fulfill this: emissions will only fall by 19 percent below the 2005 level by 2030.

Gelfand’s comments come on the heels of a federal report on climate that will no doubt stoke the fires of environmentalism. The report said Canada was warming at a rate double the global average and this was most pronounced in the North. What’s more, the authors of the report said many of the changes already visible are irreversible.

"While both human activities and natural variations in the climate have contributed to the observed warming in Canada, the human factor is dominant," the report said. "It is likely that more than half of the observed warming in Canada is due to the influence of human activities."

“For decades, successive federal governments have failed to reach their targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and the government is not ready to adapt to a changing climate,” the outgoing Environment Commissioner said.

She went on to add that the Liberal government should have stopped subsidizing the oil industry as the subsidies have made investment in cleaner energy sources more challenging. The Trudeau government promised to phase out fossil fuel subsidies in keeping with a commitment by Canada along with several other countries to dispense with these subsidies by 2025.

By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com

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  • Lee James on April 04 2019 said:
    While not a definitive move, Canada's recent enactment of a national price on carbon pollution will at least lay a foundation stone upon which to build.

    Pricing carbon provides a stick against wastefully burning oil, and a carrot for increased investment in renewable energy and more efficient use of energy.

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