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OECD Environmental Performance Reviews: Canada 2017

image of OECD Environmental Performance Reviews: Canada 2017

Canada, the world's second largest country by area, has abundant natural resources. Its vast territory includes large tracts of undisturbed wilderness. However, urbanisation and agriculture are putting pressure on the natural asset base. Since 2000, Canada has made progress in decoupling economic growth from air pollution, energy consumption and GHG emissions, but it remains one of the most energy- and emissions-intensive economies in the OECD. Further progress is needed to transition to a green, low-carbon economy.

This is the third Environmental Performance Review of Canada. It evaluates progress towards sustainable development and green growth, with special features on climate change mitigation and urban wastewater management.

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Climate change mitigation in electricity generation and transport

Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions are among the highest in the OECD on a per capita basis. Emissions are almost 20% above the 1990 level, and have fallen back only slightly since 2000. Meeting the 2030 emissions reduction target will require a major shift in policy. Recognising this, Canada developed the first-ever overarching plan to meet the target in a co-ordinated approach among federal, provincial and territorial levels. This chapter discusses Canada’s climate policy and some of the challenges involved in its climate targets. It focuses particularly on electricity generation and transport.

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