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

Last Updated Apr 12, 2021 at 10:03 am MDT

A flare stack lights the sky from the Imperial Oil refinery in Edmonton on December 28, 2018. A coalition of climate change advocates say the new Parliament needs to stop letting anxieties in the oil patch threaten progress on cutting greenhouse gas emissions. Climate Action Network Canada along with representatives from Unifor, Lead Now, Greenpeace and 350.org say climate was the biggest factor in this election and the parties that ran on climate platforms owe it to voters to cooperate quickly to respond. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson

OTTAWA — A new report shows Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions increased slightly in 2019, the same year Ottawa established a national price on carbon.

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.

Minister of Environment and Climate Change Jonathan Wilkinson believes the latest report shows the country is on track to achieving that target.

He says without climate-change policies introduced by the federal Liberal government in 2016, 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,” said Wilkinson.

He said 2020 data should show the country’s emissions starting to drop, acknowledging part of that will no doubt be due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 12, 2021

The Canadian Press