‘Broken promises’: Is Canada falling short on its climate change goals? – National


With bold plans being laid out to tackle the ever-growing threat of climate change at COP27, an annual United Nations conference, experts say actions should speak louder than words and richer nations, like Canada, need to step up the fight.

As greenhouse gas emissions continue to go up, extreme weather events, exacerbated by climate change, are becoming more frequent and destructive. 

But as world leaders and climate negotiators look for ways to implement global climate goals, observers are less optimistic about progress, saying countries are already falling short on their previous pledges.

Read more:

Climate change could hit Canada’s GDP by 6% over long term, new report warns

“It’s not realistic to expect that this COP will … fix a lot of things because there are so many structural problems and so many … broken promises,” said Jessica Green, a professor of political science at the University of Toronto.

Story continues below advertisement

Green pointed to the 2015 Paris climate agreement that set the goal of limiting global warming to 1.5 C (2.7 F) and the 2009 Copenhagen summit when an annual delivery of US$100 billion by 2020 was pledged for developing countries.

While the plans are in place, implementation is lagging behind, said Matthew Hoffman, co-director of the Environmental Governance Lab at the University of Toronto.

“I would like to see ratcheted-up ambitions, but given the current geopolitical environment, that’s been a tough ask,” he told Global News.


Click to play video: 'COP27: ‘We are on a highway to climate hell,’ UN tells world leaders at conference'


COP27: ‘We are on a highway to climate hell,’ UN tells world leaders at conference


Canada’s climate road map

Last year, ahead of the COP26 in Glasgow, Scotland, Canada pledged to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 40 to 45 per cent below 2005 levels by 2030.

Story continues below advertisement

The federal government has committed to reaching net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.

In the latest fall economic update released last week, the Liberal government added new incentives for clean energy development in an effort to meet its zero-emissions target.

Read more:

Canadian support for climate change initiatives lags ahead of COP27, Ipsos says

Speaking from the COP27 in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt, Caroline Brouillette, national policy director at Climate Action Network Canada, said Ottawa needs to open its books and show the progress made on its pledges so far.

“We want to see a trajectory that is aligned with Canada’s fair share of the global effort to limit warming to 1.5 degrees,” she told Global News.


Click to play video: 'The promise and peril of carbon offsets'


The promise and peril of carbon offsets


Experts say the big challenge for Canada in the next few years is how the government is going to interact with the oil and gas sector, which is the largest greenhouse gas emitter, accounting for 27 per cent of total emissions in the country.

Story continues below advertisement

“I’m waiting to see how serious they are about capping emissions from the fossil fuel sector,” said Hoffman.

Read more:

Can carbon offsets offer a real solution to the climate crisis? 

He said Ottawa needs to work on policies that would make the medium- to long-term transition out of the fossil fuel sector less problematic and disruptive for the industry and the economy as a whole.

Brouillette wants to see the fossil fuel sector regulated. Green added that the country will have to reorganize its economy in order to meet its climate goals.

“We need to stop buying pipelines and subsidizing the fossil fuel industry in other ways,” she said.

Among the stated goals for this year’s UN climate summit is boosting financing for poor countries struggling with the impacts of climate change.

Story continues below advertisement

For the first time, the conference delegates are to discuss demands by developing nations that the richest, most polluting countries pay compensation for damage wreaked on them by climate change, which in climate negotiations is called “loss and damage.”

Read more:

‘Highway to climate hell’ — UN chief urges world leaders to cooperate at COP27

Hoffman said it’s a “contentious issue” but one that he would like to see progress made on.

Last year, Canada committed to giving developing countries $5.3 billion over the next five years as part of the international climate finance plan.

Green said it was ”crucial” for developed countries, including Canada, to “pony up the money”  and hold true to their promises.


Click to play video: 'COP27: Climate financing to be front and centre during conference talks'


COP27: Climate financing to be front and centre during conference talks


— with files from The Canadian Press and The Associated Press

&copy 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.





Source link

Share This Post With A Friend!

We would be grateful if you could donate a few $$ to help us keep operating. https://gogetfunding.com/realnewscast/