Friday, April 27, 2007

Canadian Government Goes From Failing to Plan to Planning to Fail Kyoto Targets

"The new program does not bring Canada into compliance with its commitments under the Kyoto Protocol—a reduction of emissions to 6% below 1990 levels by 2012. Canada’s emissions are currently 30% above 1990 levels, and the new goal puts Canada 11% above its Kyoto targets. Under the new plan, Canada will meet its Kyoto targets in 2025, 13 years late."

(Source: Green Car Congress, based on Globe & Mail and Government Website; emphasis added.)
Of course, Baird's latest scheme would actually regulate "intensity" i.e. GHG emissions per unit of production, not total emissions. If production increases enough, it might wipe out the gains from "intensity". Reaching Kyoto targets may take even longer -- if ever.

So the Harper Government has gone from failing to plan on addressing this issue at all after the last election to deliberately planning to fail our international obligations.

This may end up costing Canada much more than expected. The Harper Government's most detailed document [PDF] explaining their scheme fails to mention that Kyoto has "teeth":
"If a Party [to the Kyoto Protocol] fails to meet its emissions target, it must make up the difference in the second commitment period, plus a penalty of 30%. It must also develop a compliance action plan, and its eligibility to “sell” under emissions trading will be suspended."

(Source: UNFCCC; bolding added; italics in original.)
So much for the Harper Government's scheme reliance on Kyoto Protocol emissions trading to reach some of their goals.

There is also the cost of not directing new business to a greener path right away:
"New facilities will be granted a three-year grace period before they have to meet an emissionintensity reduction target in order to provide sufficient time for the facilities to reach normal operating levels. After the third year, the initial greenhouse gas emission-intensity target will be based on cleaner fuel standards. New facilities will also be required to improve their emission intensity each year by 2%, as with existing facilities. New facilities are defined as those whose first year of operation is 2004 or later."

(Source: Environment Canada)

In other news:
  • The Government will introduce a motion in the House of Commons to change the word "Nation" to "Procrastination" in all official documents.
  • The book How to Lose Your International Credibility and Wreck the Planet for Canadians for Dummies, with a Foreword by Rona Ambrose, is headed for the top of the bestseller list.


Simon Donner said...

The intensity approach to industrial emissions make meeting a long-term target, even the weak one recommended yesterday, virtually impossible. A 2% reduction in intensity per year (after 2010), means that emissions are likely to grow unles there is an economic slowdown.

ydzabelishensky said...

Simon Donner,

Welcome and thanks for your comments. It's nice to see that a Princeton scientist, who studies coral reefs and climate change, also reads our blog.

Your own blog entry on the fallacy of intensity targets provides more details to back up your argument. I'd recommend it to our readers who would like to learn more.

This Government claims (incorrectly) that we cannot comply with Kyoto without manufacturing a recession. Ironically, their plan is the one that would require a recession to achieve its goals.

ydzabelishensky said...

Bienvenue aux lecteurs de / Welcome Readers

ydzabelishensky said...

Voir aussi / see also "Les Coulisses du Pouvoir" (Télé de Radio Canada), le dimanche, 29 avril 2007 / Sunday, April 29, 2007