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Published On: Mon, May 28th, 2018

The Effect Of Global Warming And Climate Change In Canada

Global warming is caused when, due to pollution, the greenhouse gases are trapped in the atmosphere, leading to more than the normal temperature of the earth. Carbon pollution is the dominating factor because, besides harming the environment, it creates holes in the ozone layer affecting the air quality.

photo Danielle Catrett White

Canada’s Contribution…

Past and Present Status

In 2000, the status of Canada about per capita greenhouse gas emissions was 9th out of 186 countries. It was 8th in 2005 and 7th in 2009. Canada is second to the United States, as the highest carbon polluter in the world. By producing 20 ton of carbon dioxide per capita, it ranks third as a potential changer of global climate.

Canada has been warmed 1.4 degree Celsius during the past six decades. Consequently, the major harms have been caused to Canada’s Boreal forests through a forest fire, leading to habitat destruction and loss to the timber industry.

photo/ Pete Linforth

Future Status

As per an estimate made in the report of National Resources Canada, the Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions will go up to 139 million tons during 2004 and 2020. More than one-third of the total will emerge from production and refining of petroleum products.

Production of coalbed methane involves less time for processing, compared to the conventional natural gas. Therefore, the upstream emissions will go down because of increase in production of this type of methane. However, the carbon emission will go up by 50%.

Kyoto Protocol

Kyoto Protocol is linked to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. The signatories to this international agreement commit to establishing in their respective countries, internationally binding targets for reducing emission. This was the first protocol adopted in Kyoto, Japan on 11 December 1997 and was enforced on 16 February 2005.

The rules for its implementation were adopted in 2001, at COP 7 in Marrakesh, Morocco. As per the “Marrakesh Accord,” the first commitment period was initiated in 2008 and ended in 2012. The key mechanisms of Kyoto Protocol were:

  • Clean Development Mechanism (CDM)
  • International Emissions Trading
  • Joint Implementation (JI)

Subsequent Protocol

The ‘Doha Amendment to the Kyoto Protocol’ was adopted in Doha, Qatar on 8 December 2012 which has the following features

  1. Annex I parties to the Kyoto Protocol agreed for the second commitment period commencing from 1st January 2013 to 31st December 2020.
  2. A revised list of GHGs was added
  3. Actual emissions of countries are to be monitored through:
    1. registry systems
    2. reporting
    3. compliance

Kyoto Protocol & Canada

Although Canada is a signatory to the Kyoto Protocol and the Marrakesh Accords for reducing its emission by 6% below the 1990 levels, the Liberal government did not implement effective plans for reducing the GHG emission. After the Conservative Prime Minister Stephen Harper came to power in 2002, declared that Canada “could not and would not” meet the commitments of Canada.

Different international forums like the Asia-Pacific Co-operation (APEC) conference, Commonwealth Summit and the Copenhagen Conference have strongly criticized Canada for this.

Canada’s Rebuttal

Along with Japan and Russia, Canada asserted in 2011 that it would not ‘take on further’ Kyoto Protocols. Against its commitment to reduce below 1990 levels by 2012, its emission level in 2009 was 17% higher than the 1990 level.

Because of such negative trend, Canada was liable to ‘enormous financial penalties’ as observed by Canada environment minister Peter Kent, if Canada continued to be a signatory to the international treaty. However, it was suggested by him that the Durban Agreement might provide an alternative way.

Despite such approach of the federal government, many provincial governments have taken substantial initiatives for reducing emission in their respective territories. A group of 7 states of Western United States has established a common framework for establishing a Carbon Credit Market. British Columbia, Ontario, Manitoba, and Quebec have joined this Western Climate Initiative.

Author: Saanvi Singh

 

About the Author

- Outside contributors to the Dispatch are always welcome to offer their unique voices, contradictory opinions or presentation of information not included on the site.

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