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Can Canada meet the Paris Agreement carbon dioxide reduction targets?

Theoretically, yes, but as CSCP explained here, the cost would be enormous. The Friends of Science Society (FOSS) summed up the situation well in the following video:



FOSS’s news release gives more details.


This is precisely why no government from that of Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau all the way to the present has come even remotely close to meeting their promised targets.


Here are the targets, and the results. See the graph further down the page for a visual representation of what was promised (numbers indicate targets in the following list) and what actually occurred.


1. Between 1984 and 1993: Prime Ministers Trudeau, Turner, Mulroney, Campbell and Chretien committed to reduce emissions to 20% below 1988 levels (588 Mt CO2e) by 2005. Indeed, this was the target Canada agreed to at the 1988 Toronto Conference on the Changing Atmosphere. Instead, our emissions rose about 24% between 1988 and 2005.

2. 1992: Canada targets year 2000 as having the same GHG emissions as in 1990. This was Canada’s target under the 1992 Rio de Janeiro Earth Summit. Instead, emissions rose about 21% above 1990 levels by 2000.


3. Between 1993 to 2006: Prime Ministers Chretien, Martin and Harper pledged to reduce to an average of 6% below 1990 levels between 2008 and 2012. Eddie Goldenberg, Chretien’s top political aide admitted in 2007 that the Liberals knew they had no way of implementing the target when Chretien signed the Kyoto Protocol which included those targets. Instead, in 2012 emissions were 18% above 1990 levels.


4. 2009: Harper pledged to reduce GHG to 17% below 2005 levels by 2020. This was Canada’s target under the Copenhagen climate agreement. University of Alberta School of Business Prof. Andrew Leach said at the time that would require the government to shut down the equivalent of Canada’s transportation sector within a decade. Instead, emissions were about the same in 2018 as they were in 2005.


5. 2015: Harper pledged to reduce GHG emissions to 30% below 2005 levels by 2030. This was Canada’s target under the Paris Agreement and is the current target of the government of Justin Trudeau. As explained on this CSCP Web page, we are on track to emit 112-megatonne more than the target with current and promised policies.

Canada's Greenhouse Gas Emissions Graph.
Canada ratifies Kyoto Protocol Dec 10 20
Canada ratifies Kyoto Protocol Dec 10 20

December 10, 2002: Canada ratifies Protocol and Kyoto becomes international law with ratification of Russia in 2005. 

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