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UK Conservatives Put Canada's to Shame on Climate

May 29, 2011

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Across the pond, the UK Conservative coalition government has taken a very different approach to tackling climate change than the Harper Conservatives.

The Canadian government's "commitment" to addressing climate change makes us a global pariah. Our government says it is committed to reducing Canada's total greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 17% from 2005 levels by 2020. And at the moment it remains entirely unclear how even this completely inadequate goal will be achieved.

In contrast, the UK government recently committed to reduce its GHG emissions by 50% by 2025, below 1990 levels (see here for details), and that target will be embedded in legislation.  But note the different base year: 1990 for the UK vs. 2005 for Canada. Than means that if Canada did reduce its GHG emissions by 17% below 2005 levels by 2020, our emissions would still be well above our 1990 levels.

Good to know how much more ambitious other industrialized countries with Conservative governments are prepared to be.

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