Laser Talk: Tracking Canada’s Climate Action (2008 – 2019)


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 organization, 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.

2017-2019:  In 2017, Canada was moved into the next CAT category and is now in the middle of the pack.

Currently: 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. Accessed 17 Oct. 2019.