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!
Invasive Insects Cost the World Billions Per Year
04.10.2016 | University of Adelaide
Malaysia's unique freshwater mussels in danger
27.09.2016 | The University of Nottingham Malaysia Campus
Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.
"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...
In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.
A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...
By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.
"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...
COMPAMED has become the leading international marketplace for suppliers of medical manufacturing. The trade fair, which takes place every November and is co-located to MEDICA in Dusseldorf, has been steadily growing over the past years and shows that medical technology remains a rapidly growing market.
In 2016, the joint pavilion by the IVAM Microtechnology Network, the Product Market “High-tech for Medical Devices”, will be located in Hall 8a again and will...
'Ferroelectric' materials can switch between different states of electrical polarization in response to an external electric field. This flexibility means they show promise for many applications, for example in electronic devices and computer memory. Current ferroelectric materials are highly valued for their thermal and chemical stability and rapid electro-mechanical responses, but creating a material that is scalable down to the tiny sizes needed for technologies like silicon-based semiconductors (Si-based CMOS) has proven challenging.
Now, Hiroshi Funakubo and co-workers at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, in collaboration with researchers across Japan, have conducted experiments to...
14.10.2016 | Event News
14.10.2016 | Event News
12.10.2016 | Event News
21.10.2016 | Health and Medicine
21.10.2016 | Information Technology
21.10.2016 | Materials Sciences