Canada has admitted it will fail meeting its carbon emissions target by 2020 due to the continued growth and development of its oil and gas sectors.
Regardless of existing and more regulations, Canada will continue to increase output of carbon dioxide through 2020, according to an analysis released by Environment Canada on Thursday.
Environment Canada said on its Web site the country will emit an additional 734 megatonnes carbon output 2020 versus the 701 megatonnes in 2011 when in fact it committed to reduce by 17 per cent by 2020 its carbon emissions from 2005 levels, as part of the 2009 Copenhagen Accord.
The reduced greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions percentile contained in the 2009 Copenhagen Accord was promised by Prime Minister Stephen Harper, the very same person now actively pushing the Keystone XL pipeline development. Critics of the project claim that while the development will boost production in the Alberta oil sands, it will also further the country's carbon emissions, being that Alberta is already a top GHG emitter.
Overall, between 2005 and 2020, Canada's carbon emissions will rise by 38 per cent, courtesy of its oil and gas industry.
The report, Environment Canada's third annual report of its kind, "represents the significant challenges in light of economic growth."
Canada's commitment under the Copenhagen Accord is aligned with the U.S. Both aim to slash emissions 17 per cent below 2005 levels by 2020.
"Canada is moving in the wrong direction on addressing greenhouse gas pollution," P.J. Partington, a climate policy analyst, told Bloomberg. "The government has promised Canadians that pollution levels will drop, but Environment Canada is forecasting that they will increase."
"The alarming numbers in today's report demonstrate a failure to be on track to meet our climate goals," Hannah McKinnon, national program manager at Environmental Defence Canada, was quoted by CBC News.
Climate Action Network Canada blasted Canada is slipping backwards.
"Not only will the Harper government miss its own climate target, it is actually moving further and further away from that target," it said in a release.
Pembina analyst P.J. Partington believed matters can still be saved if Canada will commit to a strong political will.
"The most crucial component of a credible plan to get Canada back on track is strong regulations for the oil and gas sector," Pembina analyst P.J. Partington said.
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