Under the rosiest outlook, Canada will only be a little over half way toward meeting its target to cut greenhouse gas emissions when the pledge comes due in 2020, according to a new report.
But the incentive for the federal government to launch additional measures to tackle climate change should be strong because the cost of cutting carbon from the atmosphere will only rise after 2020.
That’s the conclusion of the National Roundtable on the Environment and Economy, an arms-length advisory panel, in a report to Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s Conservative government before the agency is abolished at the end of the year.
The report looked at the combined effects of provincial and federal climate change plans and the emissions reductions they will yield by the end of the decade. It found that policies and programs already in place can be expected to cut carbon dioxide levels by 104 megatonnes in 2020.
That forecast is 117 megatonnes short of a commitment made by the Tories to reduce emissions to 607 megatonnes, or 17 per cent below 2005 levels by 2020.
“The federal government need not fundamentally alter its current regulatory … approach. But it will need to accelerate and complement it,” the report says.