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 memorial to former Abbotsford and RCMP police officer Shinder Kirk in Cedar, B.C. Kirk died in a car accident on Cedar Road in December 2018. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
Trial begins in Nanaimo for man involved in car crash that killed retired police sergeant

RCMP accident reconstructionist takes stand in trial of Conrad Nikolaus Wetten

Next week Nanaimo singer Laura Kelsey is releasing her new single A Foolish Thing and its accompanying music video. (Video still courtesy Greg Nuspel)
Nanaimo singer joined by wolf, dancers in new music video

‘A Foolish Thing’ is Laura Kelsey’s first professionally made single in seven years

B.C. Minister of Mental Health and Addictions Sheila Malcolmson announces an app that is intended to connect children and youths with mental health and addictions services. (B.C. Government image/Flickr)
5 years in the making: Mental health app for youths launches in B.C.

The province provided $1.6 million to fund virtual care platform

Two semi trucks collided on the Nanaimo Parkway just north of Northfield Road on Wednesday morning, May 5. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
UPDATE: Semi truck driver now in stable condition following this week’s crash on Nanaimo Parkway

RCMP repeat call for any dashcam footage around 7:40 a.m. on Wednesday, May 5

Phone companies have the expertise to be able to address the problem of phone scams, says letter writer. (Stock photo)
LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Phone companies should crack down on scammers

It’s time for these companies to be held accountable, says letter writer

B.C. Minister of Mental Health and Addictions Sheila Malcolmson announces an app that is intended to connect children and youths with mental health and addictions services. (B.C. Government image/Flickr)
5 years in the making: Mental health app for youths launches in B.C.

The province provided $1.6 million to fund virtual care platform

A sign indicating face coverings are required by the establishment is pictured on the front door of a business in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, April 9, 2021. COVID-19 cases have been on a steady increase in the province of British Columbia over the past week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
A sign indicating face coverings are required by the establishment is pictured on the front door of a business in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, April 9, 2021. COVID-19 cases have been on a steady increase in the province of British Columbia over the past week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. to start releasing neighbourhood-specific COVID numbers after data leak

Documents obtained by the Vancouver Sun show cases broken down by neighbourhoods

Ladysmith RCMP safely escorted the black bear to the woods near Ladysmith Cemetary. (Town of Ladysmith/Facebook photo)
Black bear tranquillized, relocated after wandering around residential Ladysmith

A juvenile black bear was spotted near 2nd Avenue earlier Friday morning

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix update B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature, April 29, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 case count creeps up, seven more deaths

445 people in hospital, 157 in intensive care

Summerland’s positive test rate is much higher than surrounding local health areas, according to internal BC CDC documents. (BC CDC)
Summerland 3rd behind Surrey, Abbotsford in daily per capita COVID-19 cases

Interior Health is rolling out additional vaccine availability to the community

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

Ally Thomas, 12, seen in an undated family handout photo, died on April 14 from a suspected overdose. Her family says they are frustrated more public supports weren't available when they tried to get her help. THE CANADIAN PRESS
Minister says suspected overdose death of 12-year-old pushing B.C. to ‘do better’

Minister Sheila Malcolmson of Mental Health and Addictions says the government is working ‘as hard as we can’ to build a system of care for youths

At this Highway 3 check point, police officers will be asking for identification from drivers, documentation regarding the driver’s name and address, and the purpose for the driver’s travel. (RCMP)
No fines handed out at 1st COVID-19 roadblock as checks move across B.C.

Cpl. Chris Manseau says a total of 127 vehicles were stopped at a roadblock in the Manning Park area

A spectator looks on as the Olympic Caldron is relit in downtown Vancouver, Wednesday, February 12, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Small majority of B.C. residents in favour of a Vancouver 2030 Olympic bid: survey

A new survey shows a split over the possibility of public money being spent to organize and host the winter games

Most Read