LASER TALK: Tracking Canada’s Climate Action (2008 – 2020)

In April 2019, Canada’s Commissioner of Environment and Sustainable Development, Julie Gelfand, said, “for decades, successive federal governments have failed to reach their targets for reducing greenhouse-gas emissions, and the government is not ready to adapt to a changing climate. This must change.”[1]

2008-2012: According to Gelfand, Canada’s emissions would have gone up significantly between 2008-2012 if it were not for the 2008 recession and actions of the provinces.

2011-2016: Climate Action Tracker (CAT) provides an independent scientific analysis produced by three research organizations, tracks progress towards the goals of the Paris Agreement, and ranks countries on their performance.[2] CAT ranked Canada in the lowest category alongside Russian Federation and Saudi Arabia from 2011 to 2015. From 2015 to 2016, Canada’s ranking was still at the very bottom.

2017-2020:  In 2017, Canada was moved into the next CAT category and is now in the middle of the pack in 2020.

Our 2030 Paris Agreement pledge is still woefully inadequate and consistent with a path to a 3 °C rise in global temperatures. This would be catastrophic for humanity. We are in a global emergency. We must strengthen our climate ambitions and treat the climate crisis as a non-partisan issue.

[1] “Canada’s failure to fight climate change ‘disturbing … –” 2 Apr. 2019, Accessed 13 Aug. 2019.

[2] “Climate Action Tracker.” Accessed 1 Nov 1, 2020.

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