Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Canadian Exceptionalism

There are some 180 countries but Canada is one of just three.  We are rated one of three countries "least likely" to meet our GHG emissions targets. Way to go, Canada.

The G20 nations account for 85 per cent of global economic activity and in 2018 produced 80 per cent of all greenhouse-gas emissions, which accumulate in the atmosphere and trap heat. 
The [Climate Transparency] report says about half the G20 members – 19 countries with advanced economies plus the European Union collectively – are on track to meet their current targets for cutting emissions by 2030 but those targets are much too mild. If every G20 member does not drastically scale up its targets, the G20 overall will produce more emissions in 2030 than it does today, Climate Transparency said. 
Canada, South Korea and Australia are the farthest from meeting targets to cut emissions in line with their Paris Agreement commitments, but those commitments are nowhere close to enough, the report says. Canada’s per-capita emissions, the greenhouse gases it releases divided by the number of people who live here, are the second highest in the G20, behind only Australia.
Of course, promises are always relative. If Canada was already a low emitter - as our government claims - it really wouldn't matter much if we didn't come through with our promises.

But Canada isn't a low emitter. We're a big emitter. We're in the top ten for overall emissions and, once the Justin Trudeau Memorial Pipeline, comes on stream we're expected to leap two, maybe three spots on that ranking. Speaking of threes, we're also in the top three for per capita emissions.

We see cutting emissions as a mortal threat to our economy and, in Canada, the economy shall always trump the global environment, the climate emergency proclamation notwithstanding.

Oh yeah, one other thing. The "targets" we're expected to miss - badly? Those were set by Stephen Harper.


Lorne said...

We should all be ashamed of this, Mound, yet it only seems to fuel partisan talking points. I'm sure our government will say we have to do more, and will point out how the report praises Canada for its carbon pricing.

Rome continues to burn.

Anton said...

This is a tough one. In 98 we were talking about ecological footprints and how much energy it takes for a Canadian to live for one year. And yes, there has been very little effort made by Canadians to reduce their carbon footprint.

Given our climate, I cannot foresee a fall, winter, or spring when we will not use the most efficient gas furnace on the market. We keep the heat around 18c. On the other hand, I ride a bike to work year round and have done so since 98. I also ride a bike for groceries. My wife walks to work. We fly only for family occasions, which means funerals.

Conclusion: Canadians are going to realize their profligate petrol ways, and when they do: It will be too late.

Hugh said...

How about housing people in passive-solar homes with supplementary power from low-carbon renewable BC Hydro. Transportation would be electric cars or trains. Communities would be centered around local agriculture, greenhouses etc.

e.a.f. said...

oh truly, stab us through the heart again. We didn't meet the standards set by Stephen Harper???????? O.K. that is some bad, very bad. Very funny that you wrote that actually. Stephen Harper the enemy of the environment and clean air, etc. this is not good. Can hardly wait for a slogan to tell us, we're worse than Harper.

What I didn't know for sure was the little fact about us individually being big emmitters. Oh, dear and just before Christmas you tell us that, the biggest environmental disaster season of the year. Yikes. Great excuse though for not going Christmas shopping. Send all friends and family a copy of this email wishing them Merry Christmas and in stead of a gift, you're donating to "whatever" in their name, tax receipts will be in the mail. One of the siblings gives me booze each year. I drink it, take the bottles back to for the refund.

One of the biggest problems in my opinion is the amount of clothing we go through, which harms the environment. Older homes had small and very small closets. New homes, some of those closets are the size of bedrooms and worse they're full. Do we truly need all of that stuff. It depletes water around the world, destroys rivers with pollution and dyes and then there is all that clothing going into the dumps because it can't be recycled because of the mix of threads.
Our natural resource extraction companies need to be reigned in. We need to re think our buildings and homes. the proliferation of home renovation stores speaks to our need to consume where it may not be necessary. Then all the "old" stuff goes to the dump. All the Dollarama stores opening. How much junk and plastic do we need in our homes.

the salamander said...

.. expanding oil & gas and bitumen extraction wil raise emissions.. Does a single Canadian argue that ? If 'Growing The Economy' and 'Nation Building' requires expanding such resource extraction.. then both those supposedly noble aspirations will by definition expand emissions. Will also imply more pipelining and related infrastructure..

Now supposedly we must follow this path to lower emissions and meet such targets. Did I get that right.. who could argue, Trudeau.. anyone.. that the plan is to raise emissions to lower emissions.. which on the face of it sounds farcical. Can we get Trudeau and/Ms McKenna to agree or disagree that in its simplest or condensed form.. that is their plan.. raise to lower.. Yes yes.. the expanded profits that will come pouring in from somewhere, someday will pay for the lowering.. ! This sounds.. and likely is.. complete horseshit based on no known science or economics or business plan.. quite possibly the most bizarro Environmental 'Plan' ever pitched. And all at the expense of our Environment, species, habitat, fresh water.. with zero realism re who will pay for 'Remediation' and the vast cleanup.. It won't be the foreign driven Big Energy entities.. who can't clean the executive toilet bowls without imported so called high skills temporary foreign workers..

The Mound of Sound said...

What we're witnessing is the hold the fossil energy giants have over our political caste. The last numbers I read were that there are some $27 Trillion in proven fossil energy reserves subscribed on the stock exchanges and bourses around the world. Should the Carbon Bubble burst we would be plunged into a global depression. Pension plans and other instutional investors could collapse. We have, in a political sense, left ourselves no way out.

The scenario I described comes from the former and current governors of the Bank of England, Britain's Chancellor of the Exchequer, the governor of the Bank of France and others. They're trying to goad institutional investors to act cautiously and wean themselves off fossils. They focus on the worst of the fossils - coal and bitumen - as prime candidates to become "stranded assets."

Yet Canada refuses to heed these warnings, fearing political ramifications especially from the western provinces. Whether Conservative or Liberal they will absolutely place their partisan fortunes ahead of the wellbeing of the country - at least until it's too late for meaningful change.

I would love to know what must run through Trudeau's mind when he tells the Canadian people that a massive expansion of bitumen production and export is the key to a green future for Canada. Not only is it counter-intuitive but it defies the urgency of this 'climate emergency' that the Liberal government itself proclaimed.

Al Hunter said...

Canada joined the Top Ten Countries with the largest cumulative CO2 emissions in the early 1920's and it never left.

The link below is a mesmerizing animated bar chart illustrating the changing composition of this group since 1750.

Animated Bar Chart