Audit at a Glance—Mitigating Climate Change
(Chapter 1—Fall 2014 Report of the Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development)
When we last looked at climate change commitments in 2012, we concluded that the government’s approach to introducing regulations sector by sector was unlikely to reduce emissions enough to meet the Copenhagen target.
Under the Copenhagen Accord, Canada committed to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions to 17% below 2005 levels by 2020.
Based on the latest estimates, the additional reduction required to close the gap between this target and projected emissions in 2020 is about 120 megatonnes.
To put this number in context, reducing emissions by a single megatonne would be equivalent to removing about 180,000 vehicles from the road.
Our most recent audit of climate change showed that little has changed over the last two years. We found that federal measures currently in place will have little effect on emissions by 2020.
The government has introduced regulations in the transportation and electricity generation sectors. However, regulations in the oil and gas sector—where emissions are growing the fastest—are still not in place 8 years after the government first indicated it would regulate this area.
There is strong evidence that Canada will not meet its 2020 emission reduction target.
The federal government does not have an overall plan that maps out how Canada will achieve this target. Canadians have not been given the details about which regulations will be developed and when, nor what greenhouse gas reductions will be expected. As well, the federal government has not provided the necessary coordination so that all levels of government, working together, can achieve the national target by 2020.