23 April 2008

Man, we suck

Canadians third highest per capita polluters

Individual Canadians remain the third-highest per capita polluters in the world, according to new figures released by Statistics Canada on Tuesday. Each Canadian produces an average of 23 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent emissions per year, trailing Americans who produce an average of 24.4 tonnes of emissions per year and Australians, who produce an average of 27.7 tonnes of emissions per year. While some developing countries, such as India and China, are among the biggest polluters overall, the per capita emissions of those countries are up to 20 times less than those in Canada. The Statistics Canada publication, Human Activity and the Environment, also notes that developed countries such as the UK, France and Germany have per capita emissions that are about half those of Canada, which are growing faster than any other industrialized nation. “The largest source of this growth was the production of fossil fuels, including coal, crude oil and natural gas, for export,” reads the Statistics Canada, released to coincide with Earth Day. “In both 1990 and 2003, the production of these fuels for export resulted in more GHG emissions than the production of any other exported commodity. Over the period, as worldwide demand for fuels surged, GHG emissions from the production of exported fuels.”

The new Statistics Canada publication also noted that the country is also feeling serious impacts of global warming on its territory, such as new insect infestations and melting glaciers. “Climate change is predicted to affect all Canadians to a greater or lesser extent as a result of its impact on their environment, health and economy,” said the report. “Climate changes are expected to vary regionally. While it is not possible to predict changes with certainty, there is a very high degree of agreement among scientists that changes are already occurring and that further changes will occur.”
(CanWest News Service 080422)

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