Canada's greenhouse gas emissions continue to rise: report to UN
On April 17, Canada filed its National Inventory Report ("NIR") with the UN pursuant to its obligation under the Kyoto Protocol. In the NIR, Canada reveals that its greenhouse gas ("GHG") emissions continue to grow and that Canada ranks "first among the G8 nations" for increasing emissions.
The following summary is included in the executive summary:
"In 2007, Canadians contributed about 747 megatonnes of CO2 equivalent 2 (Mt CO2 eq) 3 of GHGs to the atmosphere (Figure S-1), a 4.0% increase from 2006. This followed a year of virtually no growth in emissions and two years of declining emissions, such that the overall change from 2004 is an increase of 0.8%. Canada's economic GHG intensity-the amount of GHGs emitted per unit of economic activity-was 1% higher in 2007 than in 2006. Since 1990, emissions have increased by about 26%." (at 3)
Canada agreed under the Kyoto Protocol to reduce its emissions by 6% from 1990 levels during the 2008-2012 commitment period. It is almost certainly impossible for Canada to reduce its emissions from 26% above 1990 levels to 6% below 1990 levels in the next 3 years.
In the NIR, Canada persists in repackaging data in relative terms by, for example, including emissions intensity, emissions efficiency and emissions per capita figures. While such figures may assist Canada in planning its GHG reduction strategy, they are irrelevant to the country's international legal obligation to reduce absolute emissions.
More helpfully, Canada apportioned its emissions to various sources. Energy, comprising mostly the combustion of fossil fuels but also some fugitive emissions, accounted for 82.2% of total emissions. Agriculture and Industrial Processes accounted for 8.0% and 6.9% respectively; waste, for 2.9%. The balance was from Solvent and Other Product Use. The report noted the following about the drivers of emissions growth:
"The largest portion of the growth is observed in the Energy Sector, where the energy industries (fossil fuel industries plus Electricity and Heat Generation), Road Transportation, Commercial and Institutional, and Mining categories made the greatest contributions." (at 11)
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