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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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Environmental performance: Trends and recent developments

Canada’s economy has grown strongly over the past decade, supported by high commodity prices that boosted income from energy and agricultural exports. However, economic growth has increased energy and resource use, escalating environmental pressures. This chapter examines the country’s progress in decoupling economic activity from these environmental pressures, focusing on the period since 2000. It presents the key socio-economic developments and reviews Canada’s progress in moving towards an energy-efficient and low-carbon economy; resource efficiency in material consumption and waste management; and sustainable management of the natural asset base.

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