‘We need action and achievements, not just more targets and plans,’ says Jerry DeMarco, the Environment Commissioner.
According to new statements from the federal government’s leading environmental watchdog, despite three decades of struggle, Canada’s carbon emissions have risen 20% since 1990, the country remains unaware of climate disasters, and subsidies for the gas and oil sector have not been given promised emission reductions.
This severe judgment applies not only to previous Liberal and Conservative parties but also to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s present government.
“Canada was once a frontrunner in the fight against global warming. However, it has become the worst performer of all G7 nations after the historic Paris Agreement on climate change was established in 2015, following a succession of missed opportunities, “Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development Jerry V. DeMarco said in a statement to the media.
“We can’t keep failing; we need action and achievements, not just more targets and plans,” she says.
Despite failings in a number of policy areas, DeMarco’s five studies conclude that Canada still has time to improve its environmental record, despite failures in a number of policy areas.
“Canada can move past its weak track record on climate change and meet its international climate obligations with strong, concerted action by legislators and Canadians,” one of the studies stated.
“Canada can reach a cleaner, net-zero-emission future for future generations by building on momentum across the world and at home, including recent climate laws, stronger plans, and additional financing.”
According to DeMarco’s office, the assessment of Canada’s record on decreasing greenhouse gas emissions is not an audit but rather an examination of progress aimed to help governments better results in the future.
The commissioner identifies eight lessons that could help Canada meet its 2030 emissions reduction target of 40 to 45 per cent below 2005 levels.
For the first, better policy leadership and cooperation between the federal and provincial governments are required.
The commissioner points out that Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Newfoundland, and Labrador produce 97% of Canada’s oil and gas and that any conversation about reducing emissions must include energy-producing provinces in order to decrease national tensions.
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