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!
Global threat to primates concerns us all
19.01.2017 | Deutsches Primatenzentrum GmbH - Leibniz-Institut für Primatenforschung
Reducing household waste with less energy
18.01.2017 | FIZ Karlsruhe – Leibniz-Institut für Informationsinfrastruktur GmbH
An important step towards a completely new experimental access to quantum physics has been made at University of Konstanz. The team of scientists headed by...
Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...
Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.
While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...
Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales
Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...
Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.
As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...
19.01.2017 | Event News
10.01.2017 | Event News
09.01.2017 | Event News
20.01.2017 | Awards Funding
20.01.2017 | Materials Sciences
20.01.2017 | Life Sciences