Sierra Club Canada condemns government inaction on climate

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OttawaSierra Club Canada condemns the federal government for inaction on climate change. In a report tabled Tuesday June 2, the federal government quietly announced new emissions reduction targets which are ten times smaller than the ones announced last year.

The government stated in the report that it would reduce its annual emissions by 5 megatonnes (Mt) below the business-as-usual level in 2010, and 10 Mt below the business-as-usual level by 2012. These targets are significantly lower than last year’s projected reductions of 54 Mt and 74 Mt for 2010 and 2012, respectively.

While the government’s emissions targets get smaller, its plans for absolute emissions reductions are pushed further back. In 2007, the federal government announced that greenhouse gas emissions would decline by 2012 at the latest. In this year’s report, the government admitted that emissions would in fact rise each year until at least 2012, despite a range of initiatives.

“A communications plan may make you sound good but it doesn’t reduce emissions,” said Sierra Club Canada Executive Director John Bennett.

As part of Canada’s commitment to the Kyoto Protocol Implementation Act, the federal government’s climate plan must be tabled annually. This year’s announcement was made with little fanfare, being posted on the Environment Canada site late Wednesday.

“Slipping the report under the teacher’s door doesn’t change the fact that the government gets an F,” said Mr. Bennett.

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