So the 17 per cent cut Prentice promised Saturday would bring levels down to 606.73 megatonnes — which is actually 2.5 per cent higher than 1990 levels.
Given that Canada has already backed away from the Kyoto accord, where this country promised to reduce 1990 emissions by six per cent by 2012, the latest targets raise serious issues about whether these new agreements will be also met, Martin said.
“Trust is a huge issue here. Not only have they reneged on their target . . . Now, we have a whole new target. It’s heading in exactly the wrong direction from where we need to head,” said Martin.
Prentice did not address the change in baseline years Saturday other than to say the federal government has actively sought to align its clean energy and climate change policies with those of the Obama administration.
The U.S. government has based its targets on its own 2005 emissions.
Prentice said the Canadian government will continue to co-operate on a “continental basis” on how to address passenger vehicles and other emitters, said Prentice.
“We will continue to deal with those on a continental basis because we occupy the same economic space, the same environmental space and the same energy marketplace on a continental basis with the United States,” Prentice said.
Although 1990 is seen as a key base year for reducing targets by European countries and those in environmental circles, the Harper government does not give it the same recognition.