Canadians among worst polluters on earthApril 23rd, 2008 - 2:24 pm ICT by admin
By Gurmukh Singh
Toronto, April 23 (IANS) The Earth Hour last month might have evoked a huge response from Canadians, but a study shows they are among the worst polluters in the world. Twenty-four cities across the world participated in the Earth Hour at 8 p.m. March 29 by turning off lights and electric appliances for one hour to cut carbon emissions and save energy.
According to the study released Tuesday by Statistics Canada to coincide with Earth Day, Canada is the world’s third largest polluter per capita after Australia and the US.
Interestingly, Canada was the birthplace of the world’s green movement.
The study says each Canadian generated 23 tonnes of greenhouse gases in 2005 as against 24.4 tonnes by an American and 27.7 tonnes by an Australian.
“They are markedly higher than those in Germany (12.1 tonnes), the United Kingdom (10.9 tonnes), Japan (10.6 tonnes) and France (9.2 tonnes),” it says.
In 2005, Canadians, through human activities, emitted greenhouse gases equivalent to 747 mega tonnes of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.
One mega tonne equals one million tonnes and driving a mid-size car about 5,000 km generates one tonne of emissions, the study says.
With just 0.5 percent of the world’s population, the report points out, Canada accounts for two percent of the global greenhouse gas emissions.
Because of its resource-based economy and cold climate, Canada’s greenhouse gas emission levels have gone up by 25 percent since 1990. As a result, the country is getting warmer.
“The trend between 1948 and 2007 shows a 1.4 degree Celsius increase in annual temperatures in Canada,” the study says.
Glaciers in the beautiful Rocky Mountains in western Canada are receding, resulting in more dry months in some rivers.
The current Conservative government has promised to cut the emission levels by 20 percent by 2020.
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