3 CHARTS: How Canada's climate change record compares to the rest of the world
Emily Chan, CTVNews.ca
Published Saturday, December 13, 2014 6:41PM EST
Last Updated Sunday, December 14, 2014 8:50AM EST
Outside the ongoing climate change meetings in Lima, environmental activists are voicing their displeasure with the stalled talks and some are taking aim at Canada.
A widely-circulated photo shows protestors wearing masks representing different world leaders, including a caricature-version of Stephen Harper.
Green Party MP Elizabeth May is also among Canada’s environmental policy critics. In a blog post she wrote while attending the talks in Lima, she called Canada’s presence at the conference “dismal.”
But in a speech at the conference, Environment Minister Leona Aglukkaq said Canada’s “record speaks for itself." "We have shown that it is possible to protect the environment while supporting economic growth,” Aglukkaq said.
So how does Canada actually rank when it comes to climate change?
Canada is the world’s ninth highest carbon dioxide emitter.
According to the World Bank, Canada emitted 499,137.37 kilotons of carbon dioxide in 2010. China was the world’s largest emitter, with 8,286,891.95 kilotons, and the United States was second, with 5,433,056.54.
Lesotho was the country with the lowest carbon dioxide emissions in 2010, with only 18.34 kilotons of emissions.
Per capita, Canada is the fifteenth highest emitter
World Bank data shows that Canada emits 14.68 metric tons of carbon dioxide per person. Qatar, a country that does not even rank in the top overall Carbon emitters, is the highest per capita emitter, with 40.31 metric tons per person.
China, the country with the highest overall emissions, ranks only 59th for per capita emissions. Lesotho also ranks last in this category.
Canada does not expect to significantly lower emissions by 2020.
In 2009, Canada signed the Copenhagen Accord, committing to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in 2010 by 17 per cent from 2005 levels.
But, unless the country takes drastic action, Environment Canada’s 2014 Emissions Trends report projects that levels in 2020 will only be slightly less than they were in 2005.
In comparison, the U.S. reduced its greenhouse gas levels by about ten per cent between 2005 and 2012. The E.U. also says it is on track to meet its 2020 target of reducing greenhouse gas levels by 20 per cent from 1990 levels.