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 that it would be surprising if Canada could meet even two-thirds of its commitments. Mr. Anderson voiced his doubts at a conference in Australia almost three months ago. His words had never been reported in the press in Canada, but they were picked up by a Washington specialty magazine, the Energy Daily. "Canada, like many other countries, faces a very big challenge and the deputy minister's comments are therefore consistent with the current situation," Minister of Natural Resources spokesman Ghyslain Charron said on Thursday.
Charron added that the government intends to "continue working 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 based on the adoption of voluntary measures does not work.
Delegates from 180 countries who met in 1997 in Kyoto, Japan agreed to reduce six greenhouse gases by 5,2 per cent between 2008 and 2012, compared to 1990 levels. Canada had personally committed to a reduction of 6 per cent. But in fact, emissions of these gases have increased by 20 percent in Canada since 1990.
However, Mr. Bramley welcomes the statements made by Mr. Anderson, and even finds 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 is afraid of paying a political price for the adoption of binding laws.
Sources: Canadian Press, 02 / 12 / 2004
Editor: Marianne Lancelot, OTTAWA, firstname.lastname@example.org