Canada's greenhouse-gas emissions increase 24%

Canada is hosting a major international meeting on climate change in Montreal, presided over by Enviroment Minister Stephane Dion. Canada has been a major supporter of the Kyoto Protocol unlike the USA and Australia which have refused to ratify it .

It was therefore embarrassing to see the statistics on greenhouse gas emissions issued by the UN this week.

Among the countries judged to be good are Germany and Britain. They're undisputed leaders in showing the way for countries to curb their releases of planet-warming gases. Canada, on the other hand, is among the worst performers.

Canada had committed to cut its emissions by 6 per cent from its 1990 level over the period from 2008 to 2012, but its emissions by the end of 2003 were up 24 per cent.

The UN figures indicate that the industrialized world has made considerable progress in fighting global warming. By the end of 2003, emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases fell an average of 5.9 per cent below their 1990 levels. That is more than Kyoto's requirement for an average cut of 5.2 per cent.

But this is due primarily to a huge, one-time greenhouse gas reduction which occurred after the economic collapse of the former Communist Bloc countries.
Excluding the former East Bloc, emissions among industrialized countries actually rose 9.2 per cent between 1990 and 2003.

One major embarrassment is that Canada's emission record is far worse than even the United States, where the Bush administration has refused to ratify Kyoto.

The following table tells the story.

Changes in greenhouse gas emissions from developed countries, 1990-2003.

Over all among these countries there was a decrease in greenhouse gas emissions of 5.9 per cent, from 18.4 billion tonnes CO² equivalent in 1990 to 17.3 billion tonnes CO² equivalent in 2003.

Country Per cent
Spain +41.7
Monaco +37.8
Portugal +36.7
Greece +25.8
Ireland +25.6
Canada +24.2
Australia +23.3
New Zealand +22.5
Finland +21.5
Austria +16.5
United States +13.3
Japan +12.8
Italy +11.5
Norway +9.3
Denmark +6.8
Liechtenstein +5.3
Netherlands +1.5
Belgium +1.3
Switzerland -0.4
European Union -1.4
Slovenia -1.9
France -1.9
Sweden -2.3
Croatia -6.0
Iceland -8.2
Britain -13.0
Luxembourg -16.1
Germany -18.2
Czech Republic -24.2
Slovakia -28.3
Hungary -31.9
Poland -34.4
Russian Federation -38.5
Belarus -44.4
Romania -46.1
Ukraine -46.2
Bulgaria -50.0
Estonia -50.8
Latvia -58.5
Lithuania -66.2


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