2012 Spring Report of the Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development

Spring 2012 Report—Chapter 2

Exhibit 2.7—Reduction targets for greenhouse gas emissions have become less ambitious over time

This line graph shows the greenhouse gas emissions, in millions of tonnes, from 1990 to 2009. It also shows the Kyoto target average during the Kyoto period from 2008 to 2012 and the 2020 Copenhagen target.

Emissions climbed steadily from about 590 million tonnes in 1990 to about 720 million tonnes in 2006, with some fluctuations between 2000 and 2006. There was a period of decline between 2007 and 2009, where emissions dropped to 690 million tonnes, or 24 percent above the Kyoto target average of 558.4 million tonnes per year. The expected emissions in the 2011 climate change plan, which includes federal measures, is about 730 million tonnes.

The Copenhagen target for 2020 is 607 million tonnes, but the expected emission level by that year is 785 million tonnes, a difference of 178 million tonnes.

The reduction targets have become less ambitious over time: from 558.4 million tonnes per year for the Kyoto period from 2008 to 2012, to 607 million tonnes for the Copenhagen Accord.

Source: Compiled with information from Environment Canada’s National Inventory Report, 1990–2009: Greenhouse Gas Sources and Sinks in Canada (2011), A Climate Change Plan for the Purposes of the Kyoto Protocol Implementation Act (May 2011), and Canada’s Emissions Trends (July 2011)