BREAKING: Canada Lags G7 with Rising Per Capita Emissions Through 2014
Canada was one of only two G7 countries that saw their per capita greenhouse gas emissions increase between 1992 and 2014, according to an analysis of International Energy Agency data released yesterday by the UK’s Energy & Climate Intelligence Unit.
Only Japan showed higher growth in per capita emissions over the 22-year span, the ECIU reports. Canada’s were up 4%, iPolitics reports.
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While Canada’s emissions intensity—its GHG emissions per unit of economic output—fell 24.4%, that improvement still ranked sixth among the G7 and paled in comparison to the UK’s, at 53.9%, Germany’s, at 45.5%, and France’s, at 42.2%. All the G7 countries but Japan performed better than the entire global economy, where emissions intensity declined by 18.8%.
The report appeared on the eve of ex-UN climate secretary Christiana Figueres’ launch of Mission 2020, her new campaign “to make the year 2020 the turning point in carbon emissions, the year the carbon curve strikingly bends downwards, and push for urgent action in the coming three years.” That initiative launches this morning at 11:00 EDT.
ECIU Director Richard Black said the results eliminate any doubt that economic activity is decoupling from greenhouse gas emissions.
“It’s really time to slay once and for all the old canard that cutting carbon emissions means economic harm,” he said in a release. “If you have consistent policy-making and cross-party consensus, it’s perfectly possible to get richer and cleaner at the same time.”
The Intelligence Unit offered a victory lap to its home country, noting that “over the last 25 years, the UK has been the most successful G7 nation at both growing its economy and reducing its greenhouse gas emissions.” In the quarter-century since the signing of the United Nations Climate Convention during the Rio Earth Summit, “Britons have become richer, on average, than citizens of any other G7 nation. At the same time, we have reduced our average carbon footprint further than citizens of any other G7 nation.”
Leeds University Prof. John Barrett acknowledged that the UK’s emissions reduction success was driven in part by “suppressed demand for products due to the slow economic recovery”, and that the company’s “imported emissions remain very high in comparison to other developed countries.” (h/t to iPolitics for first pointing us to this story)