10 years ago Canada pledged to reduce emissions and pollution as part of a climate target. While some parts of the country have taken great strides to meet those goals, the same can't be said for every province. Canada's climate change goals might not be met if two provinces don't get on board.

In December 2009, Canada and other countries promised to reduce climate pollution by 2020 as part of the Copenhagen Accord. Canada's Copenhagen Accord target was set at a 17 percent cut in climate pollution from the 2005 levels.

Using data from Canada's latest emissions inventory, the National Observer looked at how the provinces and territories are doing when it comes to polluting and meeting that Copenhagen Accord target. 

"The Copenhagen Accord is a critical instrument for addressing such dramatic escalation because it is signed by 140 nations, representing 85 percent of the world’s GHG emissions," according to the Canadian government.

The good news is that most of Canada is set to meet that pollution reduction target by next year but the bad news is that two provinces have gone in the opposite direction and are actually polluting more. 

Ontario, Quebec, British Columbia, Manitoba, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Newfoundland & Labrador, P.E.I, Northwest Territories, Yukon and Nunavut are all on track to meet targets set in the Copenhagen Accord.

Those eight provinces and three territories are home to 85 percent of Canadians.

But all that good work done by provinces and territories might not even matter.

"Unfortunately, the good news story turns sour when we include the two remaining provinces — Alberta and Saskatchewan. Those provinces increased their pollution by 17 percent," according to the National Observer. 

Since 2005, Ontario has cut 45 megatonnes of emissions but Alberta increased pollution by 42 megatonnes of emissions. So Ontario's reduction efforts are basically cancelled out. 

The data used by the National Observer shows that the reason behind the increase in pollution in both Albert and Saskatchewan is from the oilsands industry.

Because of the increased pollution from Alberta and Saskatchewan, almost all of the climate change progress made by other provinces and territories when it comes to reducing emissions has been erased. 

So, at the current rate, Canada won't meet the climate targets it agreed to in the Copenhagen Accord for another hundred years. 

That means there's still a lot of work to be done in Canada to reduce emissions and protect the environment.


There are stories everywhere. If you spot a newsworthy event in your city, send us a message, photo, or video @NarcityCanada on Twitter and Instagram.


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