Thursday, July 09, 2009

80% of What...?

One fact is being left out of today's announcement that the G8 nations will lower their greenhouse gas emissons by 80% by the year 2050.
One thing, though: 80% of what? I can't find the baseline that they're using in any new report. Is it 80% of 2009 emissions? Or 2006 emissions as outlined in the Canadian government's 2007 legislation (whose mandatory emissions targets don't actually begin until 2012)? Or are they using 1990 emission levels as perscribed under the Kyoto Protocol? (Canada is obligated under Kyoto to cut it's emissions 6% from its 1990 levels; by 2006, our emissions had increased 21.7%.)
Saying its an 80% cut is meaningless without knowing where you starting from, but no media outlet has figured that out.
More egregious are the words of our so-called Environment Minister, according to the CBC (emphasis added):
Canadian Environment Minister Jim Prentice said achieving the lower emissions by 2050 is only an aspirational goal of the developed countries. But it meshes well with Canada's plan to reduce its emissions by up to 70 per cent by 2050, he said.
Canada will not need to change its policies to achieve that goal, he added.
Fire this man immediately. He clearly has no business being our environmental steward.

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