Monday, April 01, 2013

A Green Canada Includes The West!

Canada may be out of the Kyoto protocol, but even our own non scientific target of 17% below 2005 levels by 2020 won`t be reached at this rate. Due to Harper`s indifference on climate change Canada is falling behind most nations not only when it comes to environmental action, but also maintaining past successes. Harper made Canada the only country not to stay on the UN convention combating droughts.

In Canada emissions are going up. Canada is way above it`s Kyoto agreements. Right now Canada emits 690 Mega tonnes of CO2. Nearly 20 tonnes of CO2 per capita, which makes us one of the biggest polluters  in the developed world. Who is to blame? Alberta. I think it is an over simplification to blame everything on Alberta. And yes while it is true that Alberta over represents itself in CO2 emissions in Canada compared to it's portion of the population. 

Alberta isn't a bad province, because it has oil, and yes oil isn't a bad thing. Oil is a vital resource in today's modern economy. The problem though is that Alberta's Tar Sands are polluting to much, and will hinder Canada ability to reach any target. The Problem is that Alberta is built on this vital resource. Alberta's low unemployment rate and usually* decent public finances are all due to the cash cow that is the OIL!

Quebec and other eastern provinces who don't have as many resources like Alberta, haven't found it too hard to reduce CO2 emissions. Ontario is 6.5% below 1990 levels (That means Ontario reached it's Kyoto target) Quebec is 2% below 1990 levels. Both these provinces have pledged to reduce CO2 emissions by  15% in Ontario and 20% in Quebec from 1990 levels by 2020. For Quebec and Ontario it is much easier to be green and so far these provinces are leading by example. 

The western provinces don't fair so well. BC emission are up 28% above 1990 levels, Manitoba 10%, Alberta 37% and Saskatchewan 69%!!!!!! Harper has taken no action on these frighting numbers. For me even though I live in Quebec I see that Canada can't reach any target no matter how low emissions are in Central Canada.

My Vision for a green Canada include's the west. In order to create a green Canada we need to get the west off fossil fuels, and yes that means getting rid of the old economy and creating a new economy. For this we can't just say to Alberta your on your own. The federal government must help the west invest in green energy to create a new western economy off fossil fuels. A green Canada doesn't mean high unemployment in Alberta. It means new and sustainable employment in the west. 

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