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Canada reports drop in greenhouse gas emissions

  • 14 years ago (2010-04-14)
  • David Flin
North America 1004

The Canadian federal government has reported to the United Nations that the country’s greenhouse gas emissions were down in 2008 because of slower economic activity and reduced reliance on coal-fired power.

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Canada’s total greenhouse gas emissions in 2008 were around 734 megatonnes, which represents a decrease of 16 megatonnes, or 2.1 per cent from the updated 2007 total of 750 megatonnes. This represents a decline of 6.2 megatonnes – or an 0.8 per cent decrease – over the last five years, the government said.

The annual report to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change is a summary of emissions information at the national, provincial and industrial sector levels.

The government is attributing the decrease in emissions to the use of greater amounts of hydropower for electricity generation and the slowdown in economic growth at the end of 2008. Environment Minister Jim Prentice said that while Canada has a long way to go to curb greenhouse gas emissions, the decline in 2008 underscores the government’s commitment to address the issue of climate change.

The latest target from the Canadian government calls for a reduction in the country’s greenhouse gas emissions by 17 per cent from 2005 levels by 2020. However, this goal has inevitably been criticised by environmentalists because it is less ambitious than the target set in 2007, when the government said that it would reduce the country’s emissions by 20 per cent by 2020.