To reach Canada's goal of reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to 17 per cent below the 2005 level by the year 2020, federal and provincial governments, led by the Prime Minister and provincial premiers, must reach agreement on what portion of the total GHG reduction will be provided by each province say researchers from the University of Toronto's School of the Environment. Their report is being sent to all Canadian federal and provincial governments, opposition parties and other participants in the climate policy dialogue.
"Canadian governments have always known that allocation of reductions was their greatest challenge, but have refused to face that fact because they believed it was too divisive," said lead author Douglas Macdonald. "But experiences in other jurisdictions such as the European Union show that effective policy is impossible unless the federal and provincial governments stand up to that challenge."
This is because analysis by Environment Canada and the former National Round Table on Environment and Economy shows that current federal and provincial programs will only achieve half of the target by 2020. To reach the full target, governments must double their efforts. According to the researchers, that is impossible in the absence of a coordinated national policy, because each of the 11 federal and provincial governments is acting alone to implement its own climate change policy. "No single government will double its effort knowing that it alone cannot achieve the Canadian goal and with no guarantee other governments will also act," said Macdonald.
The basic problem which governments refuse to face is that GHG reduction imposes much higher costs upon the oil-producing provinces, in particular Alberta and Saskatchewan, than upon other provinces explains Macdonald. Understandably, the oil-producing provinces are less motivated than others, which mean their rising emissions will undercut action taken by other provinces or the federal government. But in the absence of any system for developing coordinated national climate policy it is impossible to reach agreement on how to share emission reduction costs and so ensure effective action in all provinces.
The U of T report draws on studies of the allocation problem in Canada and other jurisdictions to recommend that Canadian federal and provincial governments:1. Establish a federal-provincial process of coordinated climate-change policy development, led by First Ministers
3. Set the new post-2020 target, as Canada has agreed to do under the United Nations Framework Convention for Climate Change 2011 Durban Platform for Enhanced Action, at home with full agreement of the provinces including agreement on GHG reduction allocation, rather than having the target set by the federal government alone at an international conference.
"The present system is not working," said Macdonald. "We need to do things differently and the EU, and to a lesser extent Australia and Germany, offer models for addressing Canada's need to share the cost of GHG reductions in a way in which those in all parts of the country believe is fair and reasonable. We need leadership from the Prime Minister and all provincial Premiers. They have to start working together."
The executive summary and the full report Allocating Canadian greenhouse gas emission reductions amongst sources and provinces: learning from the EU, Australia and Germany are available at uoft.me/allocate
The report is the result of a three-year study done by faculty and graduate students at the University of Toronto, Technische Universitat Darmstadt, Germany and Wageningen University, The Netherlands. Funding was provided by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council. "We hope to start a badly needed conversation in Canada," Macdonald said.
MEDIA CONTACT:Douglas Macdonald, PhD
Kim Luke | EurekAlert!
Litter is present throughout the world’s oceans: 1,220 species affected
27.03.2017 | Alfred-Wegener-Institut, Helmholtz-Zentrum für Polar- und Meeresforschung
International network connects experimental research in European waters
21.03.2017 | Leibniz-Institut für Gewässerökologie und Binnenfischerei (IGB)
The Institute of Semiconductor Technology and the Institute of Physical and Theoretical Chemistry, both members of the Laboratory for Emerging Nanometrology (LENA), at Technische Universität Braunschweig are partners in a new European research project entitled ChipScope, which aims to develop a completely new and extremely small optical microscope capable of observing the interior of living cells in real time. A consortium of 7 partners from 5 countries will tackle this issue with very ambitious objectives during a four-year research program.
To demonstrate the usefulness of this new scientific tool, at the end of the project the developed chip-sized microscope will be used to observe in real-time...
Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.
The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.
Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...
Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.
Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...
In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...
20.03.2017 | Event News
14.03.2017 | Event News
07.03.2017 | Event News
29.03.2017 | Materials Sciences
29.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
29.03.2017 | Earth Sciences