Climate Spin for Canada's Conservative Government

Yesterday the World Wildlife Fund and German insurance giant Allianz SE, ranked Canada the second to last in the G8 group of nations for its lack of effort to curb greenhouse gases emissions. Today the Canadian government is defending itself. In reaction to the WWF report, Gerry Keller, a spokesperson for the Minister of the Environment stated that:

The WWF said Canada's greenhouse gas emissions trends are going up and that emissions have increased. Yet for the last two years on record, Canada's greenhouse gas emissions have in fact gone down.” [my emphasis]

That would be very reassuring news, but unfortunately Mr. Keller's comment is little more than an attempt to shift the conversation away from the long-term projections that show Canada's greenhouse gas emissions will continue to rise in the years ahead.

Yes, there was a very slight downturn in emissions over the last few years as illustrated in this graph here:

Click to enlarge.

But the Government of Canada's own report on the Greenhouse Gas Emissions Outlook to 2020 paints a much bleaker picture. The report finds that:

“Emissions [of greenhouse gas] grew by 9.5 per cent from 1990 to 1995. Following a slight dampening of this growth to 2000, attributable largely to the impact of initiatives, the trend in emissions is steadily upward. By 2010, emissions are projected to be 105 megatonnes (19 per cent) higher than in 1990. By 2020, they are projected to be 203 megatonnes (36 per cent) higher. [my emphasis]

In 2000 Canada emitted 610 meqatonnes of greenhouse gas, by 2010 Canada will emit 669 megatonnes and by 2020 Canada will emit 767 megatonnes.

I'm no math genius but to me those numbers appear to increase over time.

The Harper Conservatives would like the citizenry to think that everything is just ducky on the climate front, but the reality is that buying their PR spin and attempts at redirection will only lead to more of the same inaction we've come to expect from this government.