May 13, 2009

Canada Not Meeting Kyoto Protocol Agreement Says Audit

According to an audit revealed on Tuesday, the Canadian government is failing to measure reductions in the nation's greenhouse gas emissions, as required by law.

"We found that the government will be unable to determine actual emission reductions achieved for each of the measures in its plans," said Environment Commissioner Scott Vaughan at a press conference.

Vaughan added that Environment Canada has "overstated the expected reductions in greenhouse gas emissions for the 2008 to 2012 Kyoto Protocol period."

According to Vaughan's report, some carbon dioxide (CO2) reductions will not be seen until after 2012.

Under the international Kyoto Protocol, Canada agreed to reduce CO2 emissions by 6 percent below 1990 levels by the year 2012.

Currently emissions are increasing.

Two years ago, Ottawa outlined a new plan to cut emissions of greenhouse gases 20 percent from 2006 levels before 2020, adding that the previously agreed upon targets were unattainable.

In 2008, they released a series of laws to curb CO2 emissions.

The government is required by law to annually show how Canada will meet the Kyoto Protocol agreement, despite its objections to the pact.

According to Vaughan's report, Environment Canada cannot show that the emission reductions are based on sufficient rationale.

"While Environment Canada has a system in place to report on Canada's total greenhouse gas emissions, it has no system for reporting the actual emission reductions achieved from each measure in the annual climate change plan," the report stated.

Environment Canada countered saying reductions are impossible to attribute to a specific measure, and is neither cost effective nor feasible.

Vaughan's report focused on 36 measures for reducing emissions, including incentives for renewable fuels, renewable power, and capping fugitive emissions like small leaks from pipelines and storage facilities.


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