2011 October Report of the Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development

October 2011 Report—Chapter 1

Exhibit 1.1—The federal government has made domestic and international commitments to address climate change and reduce greenhouse gas emissions

This flow chart shows the federal government’s domestic and international commitments between 1992 and 2010 to address climate change and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

On the left side are seven boxes describing the international commitments through the period covered. On the right side are eight boxes describing the domestic commitments. In the middle of the chart, between the rows of boxes, are the years when each of the commitments were made.

The international commitments are the following:

2010—Canada commits to reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 17 percent below its 2005 level by 2020 under the Copenhagen Accord. Canada’s submission to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change notes that this target is to be aligned with the final economy-wide emissions target of the United States in enacted legislation.

2009—At the G8 summit, the G8 leaders establish a long-term objective to reduce global emissions by 50 percent by 2050. A baseline year was not specified.

2005—The Kyoto Protocol formally enters into force, committing Canada to reducing GHG emissions to an average of 6 percent below its 1990 emission level over the 2008–2012 period.

2002—Canada formally ratifies the Kyoto Protocol.

1998—Canada signs the Kyoto Protocol.

1997—The Kyoto Protocol is adopted under The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.

1992—At the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, Canada ratifies the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.

The domestic commitments are the following:

2010 (two commitments)

  • Canada commits to reducing GHG emissions by 17 percent below its 2005 level by 2020 under the new Federal Sustainable Development Strategy.
  • Environment Canada releases its 2010 climate change plan, as required under the Kyoto Protocol Implementation Act, which indicates that Canada’s target is to reduce GHG emissions to an average of 6 percent below its 1990 emission level over the 2008–2012 period. The plan also reiterates Canada’s Target under the Copenhagen Accord.

2007 (three commitments)

  • Environment Canada releases the first climate change plan, as required by the Kyoto Protocol Implementation Act, which indicates that Canada’s target is to reduce GHG emissions to an average of 6 percent below its 1990 emission level over the 2008–2012 period. The plan reiterates the government’s commitment as indicated in “Turning the Corner” and adds a commitment to reduce Canada’s total GHG emissions by 60 to 70 percent by 2050. These targets were repeated in the 2008 and 2009 climate change plans.
  • The Kyoto Protocol Implementation Act is assented to in June 2007.
  • The “Turning the Corner” plan is announced. The government commits to reducing GHG emissions by 20 percent below Canada’s 2006 level by 2020.

2005—The federal government releases Project Green...Moving Forward on Climate Change: A Plan for Honouring Our Kyoto Commitment, which commits to reducing GHG emissions by 270 million tonnes per year from 2008 to 2012.

2002—The federal government releases Climate Change...Achieving Our Commitments Together, committing to cut 240 million tonnes of GHG emissions from Canada’s projected 2010 level.

2000—The Government of Canada Action Plan 2000 on Climate Change commits to reducing GHG emissions by 65 million tonnes per year from 2008 to 2012.

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