OTTAWA — New research from the Pembina Institute and Simon Fraser University’s School of Resource and Environmental Management states while Canada’s provinces and territories control much of the policy concerning energy resources, they lack the policy infrastructure to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions (GHG).
Provinces, territories and the federal government were assessed on 24 indicators termed “foundational for climate success” and the findings have been published in All Hands on Deck: An assessment of provincial, territorial and federal readiness to deliver a safe climate.
“Our findings show that across Canada, provinces and territories are unprepared to deliver the emissions reductions needed for a safe climate. As an oil- and gas-producing country, Canada has an opportunity to be a global leader in decarbonization and to position its economy and workforce for success in emerging industries and technologies — but all levels of government have a role to play in reducing emissions,” said Pembina Institute executive director Linda Coady in a statement.
“It’s time for Canadian provinces and territories to do more. Across Canada, climate action must be pursued in collaboration with Indigenous peoples and impacted workers and communities. Addressing inequities should be at the heart of climate planning.”
The evaluation found not a single province, territory or the federal government is fully prepared to make emission cuts that will meet 2030 and 2050 climate targets. It also found while the federal government has set 2030 and 2050 targets, 50 per cent of national emissions emanating from Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba are not covered by a provincial or territorial 2030 target and 74 per cent of emissions from those provinces and Ontario are not covered by a provincial or territorial 2050 target.
Oil and gas and transportation are driving emissions growth with emissions from Canada’s oilsands increasing 137 per cent since 2005 and transportation emissions rising 16 per cent. Freight emissions rose at three times the rate of passenger emissions.
The research implored federal, provincial and territorial governments to set higher emissions reduction targets and shrinking carbon budgets, deliver on targets, provinces and territories through accountability legislation with climate modelling and independent verification and prioritize reconciliation and equity.