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BREAKING: Canada Set to Miss Its 2030 Carbon Target

Dawn Ellner/flickr
Dawn Ellner/flickr

Canada will fall 185 megatonnes short of its goal of cutting greenhouse gas emissions 30% by 2030, according to a Pembina Institute analysis that factors in recently-announced climate initiatives in Ontario, Alberta, and Saskatchewan.

“Even with all national and sub-national climate efforts to date, Canada must bring in ambitious new policies and/or significantly increase the stringency of existing programs, to close the gap to 2030,” Pembina wrote in its submission to the federal-provincial working groups responsible for developing the pan-Canadian climate plan due to be released this fall.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Environment and Climate Change Minister Catherine McKenna have repeatedly described the 30% by 2030 target as “a floor, not a ceiling” on plans to rein in the country’s runaway greenhouse gas emissions. But “current policies would fall well short of the target Canada submitted to the United Nations at last December’s Paris summit,” the Globe and Mail reports. “The Trudeau government went into the Paris meetings promising bold action on climate change and urging other countries to do the same.”

In its submission, Pembina “argued that all provincial carbon prices need to be significantly increased over the next 14 years, or the federal government should impose its own and return the revenue to the provinces while protecting low-income Canadians and industries that will face competitiveness challenges as a result of the changes,” writes the Globe’s Shawn McCarthy. “It suggested carbon prices should be more than $100 a tonne of CO2 equivalent by 2030.”

Environment and Climate Change Canada estimates the country will emit 725 Mt of carbon dioxide in 2030, against a target of 524 Mt. But environmental economist Dave Sawyer said that estimate might understate expected savings in Alberta.