Environment Commissioner criticizes Canada’s climate plan

Canada’s Environment Commissioner has released a report criticizing the federal government’s climate change plan. Commissioner Scott Vaughan examined the government’s Turning the Corner plan, and other environmental programs.

Vaughan focused on one element of the plan, the Clean Air and Climate Change Trust Fund. In the March 2007 budget, the federal government announced the transfer of $1.519 billion to provincial and territorial governments. The transfers are intended to help the provinces and territories reduce emissions of greenhouse gases — according to the Climate Change Plan, reductions of 16 megatonnes annually, from 2008 to 2012.

The report expresses skepticism about the estimate of 80 megatonnes of reductions for the years 2008 to 2012. Vaughan says the government “conducted almost no analysis to support that figure, and did not perform key types of analysis. The little analysis it did undertake is based on flawed assumptions.”

He goes on to criticize the lack of accountability with transfers to the provinces and territories. Funds are transferred, but there are no efforts to see if there are real reductions in emissions. Vaughan says, “Environment Canada made a claim of expected results in 2007 and repeated it in 2008, knowing that the nature of the Trust Fund makes it very unlikely that the Department can report real, measurable, and verifiable results.”

To learn more about the Environment Commissioner’s analysis of Canada’s environmental record, read the 2008 December Report of the Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development.

Sign-up and get involved...

Receive important news and action alerts!