Parliament Hill is viewed below a Canada flag in Gatineau, Quebec, Friday, Sept. 18, 2020. A new poll suggests most Canadians are feeling more grateful for what they have in 2020 as a result of COVID-19 pandemic.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick

Parliament Hill is viewed below a Canada flag in Gatineau, Quebec, Friday, Sept. 18, 2020. A new poll suggests most Canadians are feeling more grateful for what they have in 2020 as a result of COVID-19 pandemic.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick

Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions increased slightly in 2019: report

2019 report shows Canada emitted about one million tonnes more of these gases than the previous year

Despite a report showing Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions rose in 2019, the federal environment minister says the country is right where it needs to be to start seeing them fall.

The national inventory report filed each April to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change says in 2019, the country’s emissions were 730 million tonnes of carbon dioxide and its equivalents.

Once in the atmosphere carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases trap heat, which causes climate change.

The 2019 report shows Canada emitted about one million tonnes more of these gases than the previous year.

The latest findings show its emissions levels to be closer to where they were in 2005 compared to where the government has promised they will be by 2030.

By that year, Canada has a target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 511 million tonnes.

Canada’s environment and climate change minister said without existing federal climate-change policies its modelling shows 2019 emissions would have been 34 million tonnes higher.

“What it tells us is we actually are very much on track to exceeding this current target. Of course we need to do more going forward,” Jonathan Wilkinson said Monday.

Among the policies his department credits for resulting in lower than forecasted emissions was a national carbon price.

Ottawa imposed a fuel charge on Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario and New Brunswick in April 2019, after it said a sufficient standard wasn’t included in the plans developed by each province.

New Brunswick eventually submitted its own scheme, which Ottawa approved, while Alberta became subject to the federal price after getting rid of its own.

Wilkinson said Monday that many of the federal emissions-reduction measures come into place progressively, such as the carbon tax.

The price per tonne will increase by $10 until 2022 when it reaches $50, and after that increases by $15 until it reaches $170 a tonne.

Wilkinson said regulations around methane and a clean fuel standard are also only starting to take hold.

“We’ve seen good progress and we’ve seen progress in line with what we told Canadians they should see.”

The national inventory report summitted to the UN has a two-year lag. Wilkinson said the 2021 study, which will focus on emissions in 2020, should show a decline.

He acknowledged part of that will no doubt be from the COVID-19 pandemic, where millions of Canadians stayed home instead of driving to work or travelling.

“We believe, just in absolute terms, taking out the effects of the pandemic, you’re going to see an absolute reduction next year and every year thereafter,” said Wilkinson.

Canada presented an updated climate plan last December that it promises to reduce emissions even further, and put the country on a path to reach net-zero emissions by 2050.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is also expected to unveil new emissions targets for 2030 around a climate summit hosted by United States President Joe Biden.

Stephanie Taylor, The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism? Make a donation here.

Just Posted

A scene from the Schoolhouse Squat from October 2018, where Alliance Against Displacement members and supporters occupied the Rutherford Elementary School site, advocating for people experiencing homelessness. (News Bulletin file)
‘Schoolhouse Squat’ activists get conditional discharge in Nanaimo school occupation

Ivan Donald Drury, Tingchun (Listen) Chen sentenced in provincial court in Nanaimo

Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation elected chief councillor Moses Martin, who was also Chantel Moore’s grandfather, speaks to media in Port Alberni on Aug. 16, 2020, during a visit from NDP leader Jagmeet Singh following the police shooting of Chantel Moore. (Elena Rardon photo)
Mother of two shot by police in critical condition says Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation chief

Community ‘devastated’ by third member of 1,150-person Vancouver Island nation shot in less than a year

Condemned building of the Twin Gables Motel in Crofton is not safe and yet a teen has been climbing around on the roof while others were ripping the siding off the building. (Photo submitted)
Destructive behaviour by teens wreaking havoc on Crofton

Residents becoming fed up with the constant vandalism and fires

A fire destroyed a commercial building on Idlemore Road early Tuesday. The fire is under investigation. (Kenn Mount photo)
Early morning fire destroys new Sooke distillery

Firefighters still investigating cause of Island Shiners Distillery blaze early Tuesday

Keith MacIntyre - BC Libertarian
Penticton’s Keith MacIntyre new leader of the B.C. Libertarian Party

The Penticton businessman was voted in by members of the party on May 8

RCMP are searching for Philip Toner, who is a 'person of interest' in the investigation of a suspicious death in Kootenay National Park last week. Photo courtesy BC RCMP.
Man sought in suspicious Kootenay death found in Lake Country

Philip Toner is a person of interest in the death of Brenda Ware

Vernon North Okanagan RCMP reported to 287 mental health calls between Jan. 1, 2021, and May 1. (Black Press files)
‘It’s not the police’s responsibility to deal with mental health calls’: Vernon RCMP

RCMP remind public to take care of mental health and well-being, while better solutions are sought

Thompson Rivers University campus is in Kamloops, B.C. (KTW file photo)
Thompson Rivers the 1st B.C. university to supply free menstrual products

The university will offer the products this September

Fraser Health is using ‘targeted’ vaccination clinics in high-risk areas of the Lower Mainland. (Fraser Health photo)
B.C.’s COVID-19 decrease continues, 515 new cases Tuesday

426 seriously ill people in hospital, up from 415 Monday

B.C. Agriculture Minister Lana Popham promotes the government’s BuyBC food program in 2019. (B.C. government)
Money running out for fresh fruit, vegetables, milk in B.C. schools

‘Looking at ways to support this type of program,’ minister says

(Paul Henderson/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Experts now predict 33.6% rise in B.C. home sales for 2021

BCREA economists also predict home prices to increase by 14.3%

A boat caught on fire this morning (May 11) in Port Hardy. (Adam Harding/Port Hardy Fire Rescue Facebook photo)
Fishing boat catches fire in Port Hardy, owner’s quick thinking puts out flames

The incident is a good reminder to always have a working fire extinguisher onboard your boat

Most Read