Misleading headline on the Harper climate change plan
Is this mischief on the part of the Globe’s editors or a simple mistake? The way I read the headline below is literally: that Harper’s newest climate change plan would “cut emissions 18 per cent by 2010”. Sounds good, right? The Tories must have seen the light and, while they would still miss the Kyoto targets, are aiming for a meaningful reduction in emissions just three years from now.
In fact, this is not the case, if you read the actual article. The Harper plan is for a 20% reduction by 2020, and will be 13 years late in meeting the Kyoto targets (6% below 1990 levels by 2025). The 18% number is an intensity-based reduction â€“ that is, per unit of output â€“ not a total decrease. The article makes this clear, so it must be the editor who is to blame for the headline. Let’s hope tomorrow’s paper gets it right and does not have this misleading lede on the front page.
For what it is worth, the intensity of Canada’s CO2 emissions fell by 13% between 1990 and 2005, according to Environment Canada. This was a time when our actual emissions went up by 24%.
The article also notes that the plan will cost $7-8 billion per year. To put this number into context, Canada’s GDP in 2007 will be about $1.5 trillion â€“ that is trillion with a T â€“ so the cost of the Tory plan will be 0.07% of GDP, a far cry from the 1% of GDP being called for in the Stern Review on the Economics of Climate Change.
Kyoto commitments abandoned as Tories target reduced greenhouse gas emissions, improved air quality