Opinion: More than ever Canada’s emission reduction targets are doomed

In 2015, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau proclaimed in Paris that “Canada is back!” and committed to a 30 per cent emissions reduction from 2005 levels by 2030.

So how is that going?

According to Canada’s most recent submission to the United Nations, emissions are down a mere two per cent from 2005 levels as of 2017. If Canada was on track to meet the Paris Agreement, emissions should be down 14 per cent. Moreover, emissions in 2017 increased by 1.1 per cent from 2016 levels.

Oil and gas producing provinces were most of the problem given that oil and gas production made up 27 per cent of Canada’s 2017 emissions.

Alberta (Canada’s largest oil and gas producer) accounted for 38 per cent of Canada’s emissions in 2017 and has increased emissions by 18 per cent from 2005 levels. In 2017 alone, emissions increased 3.3 per cent in Alberta and 11.6 per cent in the oilsands.

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David Hughes is an earth scientist, born and raised in Alberta, who spent most of his professional career working in the energy industry in Calgary where he resides part-time. He worked with the Geological Survey of Canada for 32 years as a scientist and research manager and is a research associate for the Centre for Policy Alternatives-B.C.

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