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Canada must addess real climate-change challenge
Date:5/15/2013

To reach Canada's goal of reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to 17 per cent below the 2005 level by the year 2020, federal and provincial governments, led by the Prime Minister and provincial premiers, must reach agreement on what portion of the total GHG reduction will be provided by each province say researchers from the University of Toronto's School of the Environment. Their report is being sent to all Canadian federal and provincial governments, opposition parties and other participants in the climate policy dialogue.

"Canadian governments have always known that allocation of reductions was their greatest challenge, but have refused to face that fact because they believed it was too divisive," said lead author Douglas Macdonald. "But experiences in other jurisdictions such as the European Union show that effective policy is impossible unless the federal and provincial governments stand up to that challenge."

This is because analysis by Environment Canada and the former National Round Table on Environment and Economy shows that current federal and provincial programs will only achieve half of the target by 2020. To reach the full target, governments must double their efforts. According to the researchers, that is impossible in the absence of a coordinated national policy, because each of the 11 federal and provincial governments is acting alone to implement its own climate change policy. "No single government will double its effort knowing that it alone cannot achieve the Canadian goal and with no guarantee other governments will also act," said Macdonald.

The basic problem which governments refuse to face is that GHG reduction imposes much higher costs upon the oil-producing provinces, in particular Alberta and Saskatchewan, than upon other provinces explains Macdonald. Understandably, the oil-producing provinces are less motivated than others, which mean their rising emissions will undercut action taken by other provin
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Contact: Kim Luke
kim.luke@utoronto.ca
416-978-4352
University of Toronto
Source:Eurekalert

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