OTTAWA, Oct. 24 (Xinhua) -- Canada is falling behind in meeting its 2020 target for the greenhouse gas emission reductions under the Copenhagen Accord, a report said Thursday.
Canada's greenhouse gas emissions are expected to reach 734 megatons in 2020, only three megatons less than the 2005 level, according to the 77-page Canada's Emissions Trends report released by Environment Canada.
Canada signed the Copenhagen Accord in December 2009, pledging to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 607 megatons to 17 percent below the 2005 level by 2020.
"This represents a significant challenge in light of strong economic growth," said the report, adding that the Canadian economy is projected to be about 31 percent larger in real terms in 2020 compared with 2005.
Canada's federal environment department noted that between 2005 and 2011, Canada's greenhouse gas emissions decreased by 4.8 percent while the country's economy grew by 8.4 percent over the same period.
Environment Canada, incorporated as the environment department, said that if consumers, businesses and governments had not taken actions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions since 2005, those emissions would have risen to 862 megatons by 2020.
However, the report also estimated that emissions from oil and gas production will increase from 109 megatons in 2005 to 144 megatons in 2020, with the biggest spike occurring in bitumen production where greenhouse gas emissions are expected to rise from 21 megatons in 2005 to about 76 megatons in 2020.
Environmental groups said the report is indicative of the federal government's poor environmental policies.
Environmental Defense Canada, a non-partisan charity, called on the government to impose federal regulations on Canada's soaring tar sands pollution to reduce emissions, and accused Ottawa of dragging Canada backward from addressing climate change.
Canadian Environment Minister Leona Aglukkaq countered in a statement that under the Conservative government's watch, greenhouse gas emissions will decrease by 130 megatons from what they would have been in 2020.
The current Conservative government withdrew from the Kyoto Protocol signed by the Liberal-led government in 1997, making Canada the first country that quitted the accord in the world.