The Government's 2012 Progress Report on Greenhouse Gas Emissions is Cause for Concern

John Streicker

It was with deep concern that I read the government's 2012 Progress Report on Greenhouse Gas Emissions

To begin with, let me note that last year in the Arctic the extent of summer sea ice had dropped 50% in the past decade alone. The volume of sea ice has dropped 75% in the last decade. Soon we will be summer sea ice free and this is a game changer for the North, for Canada and for the globe. Canada needs to get serious about reducing GHG emissions.

In the Progress Report, the government states (a half dozen times) that we are halfway to our targets? Reading the data that goes into the report, I find that what they are actually saying is that we are not going to meet our targets. In fact between now and 2020 they expect emissions to rise. In Canadian 2005 emissions were 740 Mt, right now we are at 690 Mt. In 2020 the government is now projecting that we will be at 720 Mt. The Copenhagen target is 607 Mt.
So we will fall short of the Copenhagen target. The Copenhagen target, by the way, is the second reset target of this government. Each time they have prolonged the target and weakened the target. For example the Copenhagen target is weaker than Kyoto and a decade later.

While it is galling to see the government try to spin the information and hide that we are yet again not reducing greenhouse gas emissions - it is entirely indefensible for them not to take responsibility, to not come up with a plan 7 and half years out to actually start to reduce emissions. Our government needs to do more, much more.


John Streicker

Whitehorse City Councillor, Climate Change Scientist, Professional Engineer