Strong regulations needed to reduce greenhouse gases: report
OTTAWA – The report released by the Environment Commissioner today clearly demonstrates two things: Strong regulations are needed to reduce greenhouse gases; and Canada is not keeping track of its own multi-billion dollar programs and therefore doesn’t know whether or not they are actually reducing greenhouse gases.
The report doesn’t come as a surprise to Sierra Club Canada. “The government obviously isn’t serious about reducing greenhouse gases. If it was, it wouldn’t have cancelled regulations on Canada’s biggest polluters,” said John Bennett, Executive Director of Sierra Club Canada.
The Commissioner’s report reveals Canada doesn’t even have a grasp of the extent of the emissions coming out of the Tar Sands - the fastest growing source of greenhouse gas pollution in North America. Furthermore, none of the government’s environmental assessments have properly assessed for cumulative impacts of multiple projects.
“It’s a kind of willful blindness on the part of the federal government,” said Mr. Bennett. “How can you fix something if you don’t know it isn’t working. We’re throwing billions of dollars at schemes with no way to analyze their effectiveness in reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The reality is the government doesn’t want to know – then it might be compelled to change course.”
Sierra Club Canada feels the Environment Commissioner’s report is the clearest and most emphatic argument for a moratorium on further Tar Sands development until such a time that there is a full picture of the impacts on the local environment and its implications for Canada’s commitments to reduce greenhouse gases.
“This should give Canadians pause when they reflect on the legacy we are passing on to our children and grandchildren,” said Mr. Bennett.
John Bennett, Executive Director
Sierra Club Canada
RELATED: Ottawa’s grasp on Tar Sands pollution insufficient, watchdog warns, Globe and Mail, Oct. 4, 2011