Canada and its new minister of environment and climate change Jonathan Wilkinson will be under scrutiny as the United Nations Global Climate Change Conference gets underway Monday in Madrid (Photo by THE CANADIAN PRESS)

Report lumps in Canada with climate change offenders as Madrid conference gets underway

Greenhouse gas emissions have to drop 7.6 per cent year each year between now and 2030

Global emissions of GHGs have to drop 7.6 per cent each year between now and 2030 to limit the rise of the global temperature to 1.5C with Canada among many several industrialized nations well off target.

That is the upshot of a new report from the United Nations released last week as the United Nations Global Climate Change Conference gets underway in the Spanish capital of Madrid, running from Dec. 2 to Dec. 13.

The Emissions Gap Report 2019 prepared by United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) said countries must take “dramatic” measures to meet the goals of the Paris climate agreement signed in 2015. It commits signatories to limit the rise of the global temperature to well below 2 degrees Celsius, and if possible, to below 1.5C.

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Current projects peg the global temperature rise at anywhere between 3.4C and 3.9C compared to pre-industrial times, as the report questions the adequacy of most climate action plans and calls for additional measures.

According to the report, no country has currently managed to lower its GHGs emission by 7.6 per cent and also finds that “greater cuts will be required the longer that action is delayed.”

Canada, an agreement signatory, has committed to reducing its greenhouse gas emissions by 30 per cent below 2005 levels by 2030, but the country appears well off that target, itself not ambitious enough.

Accordingly, Canada finds itself in the company of several jurisdictions that need to step up their efforts. They include among others Australia, the European Union Indonesia, Brazil and the United States set to leave the climate agreement.


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