Parliament Hill is viewed below a Canada flag in Gatineau, Quebec, Friday, Sept. 18, 2020. A new poll suggests most Canadians are feeling more grateful for what they have in 2020 as a result of COVID-19 pandemic.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick

Parliament Hill is viewed below a Canada flag in Gatineau, Quebec, Friday, Sept. 18, 2020. A new poll suggests most Canadians are feeling more grateful for what they have in 2020 as a result of COVID-19 pandemic.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick

Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions increased slightly in 2019: report

2019 report shows Canada emitted about one million tonnes more of these gases than the previous year

Despite a report showing Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions rose in 2019, the federal environment minister says the country is right where it needs to be to start seeing them fall.

The national inventory report filed each April to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change says in 2019, the country’s emissions were 730 million tonnes of carbon dioxide and its equivalents.

Once in the atmosphere carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases trap heat, which causes climate change.

The 2019 report shows Canada emitted about one million tonnes more of these gases than the previous year.

The latest findings show its emissions levels to be closer to where they were in 2005 compared to where the government has promised they will be by 2030.

By that year, Canada has a target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 511 million tonnes.

Canada’s environment and climate change minister said without existing federal climate-change policies its modelling shows 2019 emissions would have been 34 million tonnes higher.

“What it tells us is we actually are very much on track to exceeding this current target. Of course we need to do more going forward,” Jonathan Wilkinson said Monday.

Among the policies his department credits for resulting in lower than forecasted emissions was a national carbon price.

Ottawa imposed a fuel charge on Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario and New Brunswick in April 2019, after it said a sufficient standard wasn’t included in the plans developed by each province.

New Brunswick eventually submitted its own scheme, which Ottawa approved, while Alberta became subject to the federal price after getting rid of its own.

Wilkinson said Monday that many of the federal emissions-reduction measures come into place progressively, such as the carbon tax.

The price per tonne will increase by $10 until 2022 when it reaches $50, and after that increases by $15 until it reaches $170 a tonne.

Wilkinson said regulations around methane and a clean fuel standard are also only starting to take hold.

“We’ve seen good progress and we’ve seen progress in line with what we told Canadians they should see.”

The national inventory report summitted to the UN has a two-year lag. Wilkinson said the 2021 study, which will focus on emissions in 2020, should show a decline.

He acknowledged part of that will no doubt be from the COVID-19 pandemic, where millions of Canadians stayed home instead of driving to work or travelling.

“We believe, just in absolute terms, taking out the effects of the pandemic, you’re going to see an absolute reduction next year and every year thereafter,” said Wilkinson.

Canada presented an updated climate plan last December that it promises to reduce emissions even further, and put the country on a path to reach net-zero emissions by 2050.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is also expected to unveil new emissions targets for 2030 around a climate summit hosted by United States President Joe Biden.

Stephanie Taylor, The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism? Make a donation here.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A judge has found an Edmonton woman guilty of manslaughter in the death of her five-year-old daughter. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Edmonton mother found guilty of manslaughter in death of 5-year-old girl

The woman was charged and pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder and assault with weapons, including a belt and a spatula

Alberta has 1,910 active cases of COVID-19 as of Wednesday. Red Deer is reporting five active cases, with 108 recovered. (File photo)
Alberta identifies 2,042 new COVID-19 cases Saturday

Central zone has 2,917 active cases

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Jason Kenney urges federal government to push U.S. for surplus COVID-19 vaccines

‘It makes no sense for our neighbours and regional states to be sitting on doses that we cannot use,’ the premier said

Alberta reported an additional 1,980 cases of COVID-19 Friday. (NIAID-RML via AP)
Red Deer adds 37th death from COVID-19, active cases drop

Alberta Health identified an additional 1,980 cases of the virus province-wide

Manluk Centre: Wetaskiwin Regional Aquatics and Fitness will be closed to the public until further notice beginning May 10, 2021. Image/ City of Wetaskiwin.
Manluk Centre to close following new provincial restrictions

The Manluk Centre will be closed to the public until further notice beginning May 10, 2021.

A caribou grazes on Baffin Island in a 2008 file photo. A last-ditch attempt to save some of Canada’s vanishing caribou herds is a step closer after a scientific review panel’s approval of a plan to permanently pen some animals and breed them to repopulate other herds. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Kike Calvo via AP Images
Parks Canada captive caribou breeding proposal gets OK from scientific review panel

Wolf density in Jasper is low enough that the animals would not be expected to be a major threat

People pass the red hearts on the COVID-19 Memorial Wall mourning those who have died, opposite the Houses of Parliament on the Embankment in London, Wednesday, April 7, 2021. On May 3, the British government announced that only one person had died of COVID-19 in the previous 24 hours. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Kirsty Wigglesworth
For a view of a COVID-19 future, Canadians should look across the pond

Britain, like Canada, is one of the only countries in the world to delay second doses for several months

Nuns of Mother Teresa’s Missionaries of Charity, carry some of her relics during a vigil of prayer in preparation for the canonization of Mother Teresa in the St. John in Latheran Basilica at the Vatican, Friday, Sept. 2, 2016. In which city did she do much of her charitable work? (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)
QUIZ: How much do you know about these motherhood issues?

In honour of Mother’s Day, take this 10-question quiz

Canada’s chief public health officer is reminding Canadians even those who are fully vaccinated are not immune from transmitting the COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s top doctor warns full vaccination does not equal full protection from COVID-19

Post-inoculation, Theresa Tam says the risk of asymptomatic infection and transmission is far lower but not obsolete

Jennifer Coffman, owner of Truffle Pigs in Field, B.C., poses beside her business sign on Thursday, May 6, 2021, in this handout photo. Her restaurant and lodge have been hit hard by a closure of a section of the Trans-Canada Highway and by the British Columbia government discouraging Alberta residents from visiting during the pandemic. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Jennifer Coffman, *MANDATORY CREDIT*
‘Why we survive’: B.C. boundary towns struggle without Albertans during pandemic

Jennifer Coffman’s restaurant is located in the tiny community of Field, which relies on tourism

A rodeo south of Bowden drew a huge crowd on May 1 and 2, 2021. (Photo courtesy Mom’s Diner’s Facebook page)
Amazon is pausing its Prime Day marketing event in Canada this year amid ongoing COVID-19 outbreaks at its facilities in Ontario. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Amazon Prime Day halted in Canada due to COVID-19 outbreaks in warehouses

The event was postponed to protect the health and safety of employees and customers, the company says

Most Read