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Canada's climate diplomacy will outstrip domestic push

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Significance

As part of the 2015 Paris Agreement, Canada has committed to a national target of 30% reductions in carbon emissions from 2005 levels by 2030. However, figures released in April show Canada's emissions were down just 0.7% in 2015 from the previous year, amounting to an overshoot of 200 million tonnes compared with the pledged reduction. Phasing out coal power plants in Alberta and elsewhere and adopting stricter methane regulations will help achieve targets, but this may be offset by new oil sands development.

Impacts

  • The New Democratic Party government in Alberta may be caught between a conservative coalition at home and Greens in British Columbia.
  • New natural gas plants may come online in Ontario if the Progressive Conservatives defeat Kathleen Wynne's Liberals next year.
  • Closure of coal-fired power plants in Canada will contribute to a dwindling of export markets for US coal producers.
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