A Recent Federal Audit Exposes Canadian Climate Failures

Scientists, academics, environmentalists and communicators have urged governments to take the climate crisis seriously for decades. We’ve outlined the overwhelming evidence, generated discussion and offered myriad solutions.

We’ve confronted politicians who refuse to accept that a problem exists, or that we can do anything about it if it does. That’s frustrating and disheartening, especially for those of us with children and grandchildren, and more so for people who are children and grandchildren. It’s even more frustrating to deal with politicians who claim to take the matter seriously, but whose actions belie their words.

We’re failing to take the necessary steps to confront or adapt to global warming. The current United States administration is going in the opposite direction. In Canada, despite hopeful rhetoric after the 2015 federal election and leading to the Paris climate summit, neither the federal nor provincial governments are doing enough to indicate they even understand the severity of the crisis.

Federal Environment Commissioner Julie Gelfand and auditors general in nine provinces conducted an audit of climate change planning and emissions-reduction programs between November 2016 and March 2018. They concluded that “most governments in Canada were not on track to meet their commitments to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and were not ready for the impacts of a changing climate.”

They further reported, “Most Canadian governments have not assessed and, therefore, do not fully understand what risks they face and what actions they should take to adapt to a changing climate.” Only two provinces, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, are on track to meet their emissions-reduction targets, and federal, provincial and territorial governments are using a mishmash of approaches, targets and measurements.

They wrote that, “As a result, it was unclear how the federal, provincial, and territorial governments would measure, monitor, and report on their individual contributions to meeting Canada’s national 2030 target.”

Meanwhile, the federal and some provincial governments bizarrely argue that the best way to confront climate change is to continue expanding the fossil fuel industry and its infrastructure, with increased oilsands and liquefied natural gas development and more pipelines.

Last year, this column’s authors wrote a book, Just Cool It!: The Climate Crisis and What We Can Do, with the hope of offering the public and politicians a readable guide to the science of and solutions to climate disruption. If politicians don’t have the time or inclination to read it

Source:: The Huffington Post – Canada Travel

      

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