Recently Alberta’s illustrious Premier Allison Redford was in Ottawa. There she told reporters that the Federal government should follow Alberta’s lead when it comes to dealing with climate change and rising emissions (though she quickly backed off from advocating any specific measure like a carbon tax).
While Canada is definitely one of the worst countries in the world when it comes to dealing with a growing climate crisis – we pulled out of the Kyoto protocol, have no national climate strategy, and have missed the scientifically based Kyoto targets by a wider margin than just about any country in the world – should Canada really follow Alberta?
Just for fun I decided to crunch two quick numbers: the increase in emissions in Alberta since 1990 in Alberta and the per capita emissions in my Alberta, and apply them both to the Federal context.
If Canada were Alberta: emission increases.
Between 1990 and 2010 Alberta’s emissions have increased by 40%.
If we apply this to the federal scene we find that instead of Canada’s emissions going up from 589 Mt (million tonnes, 1990) to 692 Mt (2010), Canada’s emissions would actually be higher by about 138 Mt or 830 Mt total. That 138 Mt difference would mean putting the emissions of more than 33 million cars on the road.
If Canada were Alberta: per capita emissions.
In 2010 Alberta’s per capita emissions were 63.4 t CO2e per person - the highest in the industrialized world, greater that China, India, and the United States.
If we once again apply this horrifying statistic to the federal scene Canada’s emissions would be an astonishing 2,186 Mt. That would mean putting about 529 million cars on the road and Canada’s overall emissions would rival India.
Sorry Premier Redford I don’t think Canada should follow Alberta when it comes to emissions. Canada should be following climate leaders not the nations biggest climate laggard.