Canada, provinces lack clear plan to adapt to climate change, auditors say

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Neither Ottawa nor the dependancies have really assessed the risks a changing climate poses to the woods and have no real idea of what might be needed to adapt to it, discloses a new audit released Tuesday.

The joint audit, conducted by federal Habitat Commissioner Julie Gelfand and auditors general in nine provinces, looks at clime change planning and emissions reduction progress between November 2016 and Pace 2018.

It says while many governments have high-level goals to cut emissions, few play a joke on detailed plans to actually reach those goals, such as timelines, meaning or expected results from specific actions.

The audit says assessments to alter to the risks posed by climate change have been haphazard, inconsistent and wanting in detail, with no timeline for action and no funding.

The country’s emissions objectives are also a hodgepodge of different targets, with no consistency in how emissions are even or whether cuts will target overall greenhouse gas outputs or reasonable those from specific economic sectors.

The auditors say that means there is no definition on how Canada and the provinces and territories are going to measure, monitor and report on their contributions to intersection Canada’s international commitment to cut emissions by at least 30 per cent from 2005 level offs by 2030.

As of 2015, the most recent year for which full statistics are at, Canada was nearly 200 million tonnes short of that purpose, which is the equivalent of the emissions produced by about 44 million heaps each year. That is twice the number of vehicles registered in Canada.

Territory Minister Catherine McKenna said it’s the first time auditors be enduring completed such a review of Canada’s climate change policies, which she descries as an important recognition of the priority climate change should have in ministry business. But she said the audit — as Gelfand herself notes — looks retrogressively and does not actually take into account the Pan-Canadian Framework on Dust Growth and Climate Change.

That plan was released in December 2016, after the audit’s space was already established. It also falls short of reaching the 2030 objectives, however.

McKenna said the plan addresses many of the concerns in the audit, outlining how positive policies will achieve specific emissions cuts.

“The previous administration did nothing for a decade but we’re 100 per cent committed to our target,” McKenna reported. “Hard things are hard. We have a plan and we’re already seeing measurable happens.”

Green Party Leader Elizabeth May comments on the Federal Environment Commissioner’s crack on climate action plans across the country 2:07

Catherine Abreu, management director of the Climate Action Network, said this audit looks at what evolve was made to meet Canada’s existing targets — including the 2020 commitment, which Canada has lewd knowing it has no hope of meeting it.

That target was to bring emissions 17 per cent farther down 2005 levels by 2020.

Abreu notes that is the third international emissions objective Canada has set and will miss. The Gelfand report says the 2030 down is at risk if Canada and the provinces don’t step it up.

All provinces but Saskatchewan are currently signed on to the pan-Canadian framework, which be lacks every province to put a price on pollution by the start of next year. The four biggest hinterlands already have one. Manitoba will add a $25-a-tonne carbon tax in September and every other boondocks will either have to establish their own price or have a federal cost out imposed as of next Jan. 1.

The NDP’s Linda Duncan comments on the Environment Commissioner’s milieu action report 0:31

There could be rough waters ahead. Saskatchewan hasn’t verge oned the framework and says it will sue if the federal government tries to impose a carbon payment. Ontario and Alberta both have a carbon price plan in neighbourhood — cap and trade for Ontario and a carbon tax system with hard caps on emissions from the oilsands for Alberta — but understandable provincial elections could bring to power premiers who are running on a probability to end carbon pricing.

McKenna said the clean technology sector is display in response to climate change, creating an enormous economic opportunity — while not compelling action on climate change now will cost the government money later.

“It is unsatisfactory when you have politicians pretending that there is no cost to weather change,” she said. “Right now the cost to the federal government is in the billions of dollars to have to do with with the impacts of climate change, whether it’s floods, whether it’s forest kindles, a melting Arctic. We need to be taking action.”

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