As widely reported, over 170 national representatives took part in a ceremonial signing of the Paris climate agreement at the U.N. in New York on April 22, Earth Day. The Paris Agreement comes into force when countries representing at least 55% of total global greenhouse gasses, and 55% of the population, join the agreement. See “US and China lead push to bring Paris climate deal into force early” in The Guardian for details of each country’s proportion of emissions, and national ratification prospects. “The Key Players in Climate Change” in the New York Times (April 21) provides an overview of the major emmiters: U.S., China, EU, Brazil, Russia, India, Indonesia. Although Canada is one of the highest per capita emitters in the world, it represents approximately 1.6% of total global GHG emissions in 2012.
A brief press release from Canada’s PMO is here. Prime Minister Trudeau pledged that Canada’s House of Commons would ratify the agreement by the end of 2016 – matching the date pledged by the U.S. and China, in an article in the Globe and Mail. The Prime Minister spoke against a backdrop of two recent reports about Canada’s emissions. The National Inventory of Report of GHG Emissions 1990 – 2014 , released by Environment and Climate Change Canada, is an annual compilation of statistics mandated by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). It shows that total GHG emissions decreased overall between 2005 and 2014, but have increased by 5.2% from 2009 to 2014. Six provinces’ emissions have declined since 2005, but emissions in Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Newfoundland have increased. 81% of Canada’s GHG emissions in 2014 originated in the energy sector (which the IPCC broadly defines to include the fossil fuel industry, electricity, industrial production, transportation, agriculture and more). Emission intensity for the entire economy (GHG per GDP) has declined by 32% since 1990, which the report attributes to “fuel switching, increases in efficiency, the modernization of industrial processes, and structural changes in the economy”. The French version of the National Inventory Report is here.
The Conference Board gives Canada a “D” grade overall on three dimensions it measured in its April 21 report: How Canada Performs: Environmental Report Card : climate change, air pollution, and freshwater management. Canada ranks 14th among the 16 peer countries, with only the U.S. and Australia worse.