The Liberals are poised to miss their 2020 greenhouse gas emissions target by up to 99.2% according to the latest government data. 

In his first term as prime minister, Justin Trudeau proposed a plan to reduce emissions in 2020 to 17% less than 2005 levels by this year, with a later goal of achieving a rate 30% below the 2005 benchmark by 2030. 

In 2005, Canada emitted 730 million tonnes of greenhouse gases. According to Trudeau’s plan, emissions in 2020 should be 606 million tonnes. However, government data shows that Canada emitted 729 million in greenhouse gasses this year.

In a statement given to The Star on Wednesday, the federal government maintained that they would exceed Canada’s 2030 target.

“Our government is committed to exceed Canada’s 2030 emissions reduction target, and we recognize that addressing oil and gas sector methane emissions provides some of the most cost-effective approaches to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the country,” said Moira Kelly, who is a spokesperson for Environment Minister Jonathan Wilkinson.

The Trudeau government’s assertions that Canada can meet the emission targets set by the Paris Accord have been thrown up in the air by recent data and reporting. 

According to the Department of Environment, British Columbia’s carbon tax – which served as a model for the federally imposed scheme – failed to cut emissions in the province. According to the National Inventory Report submitted to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, greenhouse gas emissions in BC actually increased by 10% from 2015 to 2018. 

Even a year after the federal carbon tax was imposed on non-compliant provinces, Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions grew by 15%. 

When questioned on whether or not the carbon tax impacted Canada’s emissions levels, the Trudeau government refused to provide a clear answer. 

“Current estimates do not yet fully account for future reductions from green infrastructure, clean technology and innovation,” said a February 2017 report. 

“The overall approach to pricing carbon pollution will be reviewed by 2022 to ensure that it is effective and to confirm the path forward, including future price increases.” 

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