Canada will probably miss its Kyoto targets by far, the Ministry of Natural Resources admitted for the first time Thursday.
The department confirmed statements by Deputy Minister George Anderson saying it would be surprising if Canada could even meet two-thirds of its commitments. Mr. Anderson expressed his doubts at a conference in Australia nearly three months ago. His words had never been reported by the press in Canada, but they were picked up by a Washington trade journal, the Energy Daily. "Like many other countries, Canada is facing a very big challenge and the remarks of the deputy minister are therefore consistent with the current situation," Minister of Natural Resources spokesman Ghyslain Charron said Thursday.
Mr. Charron added that the government intends to "continue to work with the international community, industry, various levels of government, communities and all Canadians to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions". According to Matthew Bramley of the Pembina Institute, an environmental think tank, it is clear that the government's strategy of adopting voluntary measures is not working.
Delegates from 180 countries who met in 1997 in Kyoto, Japan agreed to reduce six greenhouse gases by 5,2 percent between 2008 and 2012, compared to 1990 levels. Canada had personally committed to a 6 percent reduction. But in fact, emissions of these gases have increased by 20 percent in Canada since 1990.
Still, Mr. Bramley welcomed Mr. Anderson's statements, and even found it "refreshing" to hear an honest admission that "Canada is not doing enough to meet its Kyoto targets."
According to him, if the government has difficulty in achieving its objectives, it is because it fears paying a political price for the adoption of binding laws.
Sources: Canadian Press, 02 / 12 / 2004
Editor: Marianne Lancelot, OTTAWA, email@example.com