“So it’s very disappointing to see Environment Canada publish a 500-page report that leaves out these (Greenhouse gas emissisions critical numbers — especially when last year’s edition included them.” - Clare Demerse, Pembina Institute.
Ottawa (1 June 2011) - Two weeks ago the federal government released Canada's greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions report as part of their UN obligations under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).
Now it has come to light that it withheld important data from oilsand emissions. The government acknowledged it deliberately excluded this data but its reasons for doing so are still vague.
The fact is that the oilsands industry had a 20% increase in annual pollution in 2009. Despite the improvements of energy efficiency in production on a barrel to barrel basis, the entire industry is growing so fast as to counter any emissions reductions.
“The oilsands remain Canada’s fastest-growing source of greenhouse gas pollution, and they’re the subject of a huge amount of attention and scrutiny in Canada and internationally,” said Clare Demerse, director of climate change at the Pembina Institute, an Alberta-based environmental research group. “So it’s very disappointing to see Environment Canada publish a 500-page report that leaves out these critical numbers — especially when last year’s edition included them.”
It is significant that the report does not directly show the extent of pollution from the oilsands production since they are greater than the GHGs of all the cars driven on Canadian roads.
Alarmingly, the UN's full report of global GHGs shows a record increase in global carbon emissions despite a global economic recession. The dramatic rise means the goal of preventing a planetary rise of 2 degrees Celsius is likely out of reach. All climate forecasts with this scenario show that dangerous tipping points will likely be reached.
Although Canada’s reporting obligations under the UNFCCC have been met, the true picture of Canada's emissions brings into question Harper's commitment to doing our part to mitigate climate change.
The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 340,000 members. Our mission is to improve the lives of working families and to build a stronger Canada by ensuring our common wealth is used for the common good. NUPGE
The National Inventory Report - Environment Canada link
A new report, entitled A Comprehensive Guide to the Alberta Oil Sands: Understanding the Environmental and Human Impacts, Export Implications, and Political, Economic, and Industry Influences - download here