Federal and Provincial Governments Fail Climate Audit

Stephen Hazell, Director of Conservation and General Counsel

Federal and provincial governments are not on track to meet their commitments to reducing GHG emissions and are not ready for the impacts of climate change says a collaborative audit by Auditors General from across Canada and the Federal Environment Commissioner.

Nature Canada’s view is that this collaborative audit is a staggering rebuke to provincial and federal governments in terms of the actual performance of governments (as opposed to promises and intentions)  in addressing climate change.

The Auditors General conclude that: “Canada is not expected to meet its 2020 target.  Meeting the 2030 target will require efforts and actions beyond those in place” . . . “Most Canadian governments have not assessed, and, therefore, do not fully understand what risks they face and what actions they should take to adapt to a changing climate”

The response of federal and provincial deputy ministers of Environment  to the collaborative audit is baffling in that they barely  acknowledge the criticisms of the Auditors General, claiming that “good progress has been made”, when that is clearly not the case.

Nature Canada strongly urges all governments to consider nature-based solutions to climate change (e.g., protect forests, wetlands and  grasslands that store carbon and mitigate effects of extreme weather events) rather than building subdivisions or monoculture agricultural fields on top of them.

 

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