May 15, 2015 by THE CANADIAN PRESS
WINNIPEG – Canada is promising to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 30 per cent below 2005 levels by 2030, a target Environment Minister Leona Aglukkaq calls “fair and ambitious” and reflects the country’s economic circumstances.
Speaking in Winnipeg, Aglukkaq promised to introduce new regulations on methane emissions produced by the oil and gas industry, as well as new rules for natural gas-fired power generation and emissions from the chemical industry.
The new targets are roughly in line with those announced by the U.S. in March, but slightly weaker. That country has pledged to cut its greenhouse emissions by up to 28 per cent by 2025 from 2005 levels.
“First, Canada intends to develop regulations aligned with actions recently proposed by the United States to reduce methane from the oil and gas sector,” Aglukkaq said.
“Actions in this area would lead to significant reductions in emissions while ensuring Canadian companies remain competitive.”
Canada will take its new targets to a United Nations conference later this year in Paris, where a new international emissions regime is to be negotiated.
Whether Canada will be able to meet those new targets is an open question.
Despite a previous promise to cut emissions 17 per cent below 2005 levels by 2020, Environment Canada reported last month that national greenhouse gas emissions rose between 2012 and 2013 to 726 megatonnes, the fourth consecutive annual increase.
Even if the target is met, it may not be enough.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the world’s chief scientific body on the issue, has said that worldwide greenhouse gas emissions must be cut by between 25 and 40 per cent below 1990 levels by 2020 if the world wants to avoid the worst implications of global warming.