The Auditor Generals of nine of ten Canadian provinces (Quebec did not participate) decided to look at a critical issues for Canada's future. They decided the number one priority issue that needed to be examined first was climate change. Together with the Federal Commissioner of Canada that have released a report today on whether the federal and provincial governments are going to meet their 2020 and 2030 targets carbon dioxide emission targets and their plans to adapt to climate changes that are already occurring.
Despite the warnings coming from forest fires that burnt down large parts of Fort MacMurray in 2016, the forest fires that caused tens of thousands to abandon their communities in BC during the 2017 summer due to forest fires that were in some cases larger than Prince Edward Island, the extensive spring flooding in recent years due to extremely rapid melting of snow and ice in Alberta, Ontario and Quebec, the destruction of forests by pine beetles, the dramatic changes in the Arctic climate and many other effects, the report concludes that our governments have virtually no possibility of meeting 2020 targets and are unlikely to meet 2030 targets, just as they have failed to meet such targets in the past set out by the Chretien Liberal and Harper Conservative governments. They also have either no or completely inadequate plans to adapt to the changing environmental conditions created by climate change. The plans that do exist have no common standards and no mechanisms of coordination.
When asked on Power and Politics, what consequences governments would face for not meeting the 2020 targets, Liberal Environment Minister Catherine McKenna evaded answering the question again, again and again. In other words, the message is: don't worry, we've got this problem under control. Go back to sleep.
Provincial governments of all political stripes have failed to deal effectively with the crisis.
The Conservatives solution is for the federal government to get out of the way and let the provinces deal with the problem. I'm sure Jason Kenny, Brad Wall, Scott Moe, and Doug Ford would agree with that.
Neither the federal government nor the provinces have adequately assessed the risks a changing climate poses to the country and have no real idea how to adapt to it, concludes a scathing new audit released Tuesday.
The joint audit, conducted by federal environment commissioner Julie Gelfand and auditors general in nine provinces, looked into climate change planning and emissions reduction progress between November 2016 and March 2018.
It says while many governments have high-level goals to cut emissions, few have detailed plans to reach those goals, such as timelines, funding or expected results from specific actions.
Assessments to adapt to the risks posed by climate change have been haphazard, inconsistent and lacking in detail, with no timeline for action and no funding, the report notes.
It also calls Canada’s emissions goals a hodgepodge of targets, with no consistency in how emissions are measured or whether cuts will target overall greenhouse gas outputs or just those from specific economic sectors. Only two provinces and Ottawa have actually laid out their specific 2030 emissions targets, and none are on track to meet them, Gelfand said.
The auditors say that means there is no clarity on how Canada and the provinces and territories are going to measure, monitor and report on their contributions to meeting Canada’s international commitment to cut emissions by at least 30 per cent from 2005 levels by 2030.
As of 2015, the most recent year for which full statistics are available, Canada was nearly 200 million tonnes short of that goal, the equivalent of the emissions produced by about 44 million cars each year — twice the number of vehicles registered in Canada. ...
“We’ve had several plans in the past and yet our emissions keep rising, we do not hit targets and we’re not ready to adapt to a changing climate,” Gelfand said. ...
Canada has had at least four international emissions targets in the past, and as many as eight plans to meet them, but has yet to do so once, said Gelfand, who plans to audit the pan-Canadian framework in the next couple of years. That audit will start no earlier than 2019, and will take about 12 to 18 months to complete, she said. ...
Conservative environment critic Ed Fast seized on Gelfand’s report as proof the government doesn’t have a grip on climate change, nor evidence to back up its carbon-pricing efforts.
The Liberals should abandon that plan and leave it to the provinces to decide on their own how best to cut emissions, said Fast, while Ottawa can focus on funding research into how Canada’s geography or agricultural practices can be used to reduce emissions.
If the world doesn’t meet its emissions targets to keep the planet from getting too warm, everyone will pay the price, said Catherine Abreu, executive director of the Climate Action Network. “We just don’t get to live in a way we’re used to if that happens,” she said. “We are already seeing devastating harm from climate change.”