So, how is Canada doing in meeting Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Paris climate treaty commitment to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions to 30% below 2005 levels by 2030?
In a word, terribly.
According to the government’s latest figures, reducing annual emissions to the level promised by Trudeau would mean lowering them to 517 megatonnes annually by 2030. (A megatonne, or Mt, is a million metric tonnes.)
Canada’s annual emissions in 2015, the latest year for which figures are available, were 722 Mt.
That means we have to reduce our emissions by 205 Mt annually in less than 15 years.
Even if the government wiped out the equivalent of Canada’s entire oil and gas sector (189 Mt annually) or entire transportation sector (173 Mt annually), we would still fall short of Trudeau’s commitment.
In fact, the only time emissions fell precipitously in the last quarter century occurred in 2009, at the height of the global recession which started with the subprime mortgage crisis in the United States.