Canadian Government's Spin?

Action on Climate Change chart
According to this timeline "The Government of Canada is taking an aggressive approach to climate change that achieves environmental and economic benefits for all Canadians. Take a look at the progress that the government has made to address climate change since it signed onto the Copenhagen Accord at the end of 2009." Are these facts or spin?


Month Spin Facts
January Set Canada's greenhouse gas emissions target at 17 percent below 2005 levels by 2020, under the Copenhagen Accord. This target is significantly less than the targets set under Kyoto and also the targets of most other countries.
April Invested $500 million in research to help reduce greehouse gases from building construction.  
September Released final regulations requiring 5% renewable fuel content in gasoline. There is debate about whether this is an effective way to reduce emissions. In addition, It uses up valuable agricultural to grow crops for renewable fuels.
October Joined the REDD+ partnership, which aims to reduce emissions from deforestation and forest degradation. Tar sands destroy large areas of boreal forests. Shutting them down would save large area of Canada's forests.
October Announced $400 million in fast-start financing to help developing countries to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and adapt to climate change.  
October Finalized regulations to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from passenger cars and light trucks years 2011-2016.  
December Supported to Cancun Agreement outcomes at the COP 16 climate change conference.  


Month Spin Facts
April The Boundary Dam carbon capture and storage project in Saskatchewan to which the Government of Canada provided $240 million, is approved for construction. Carbon capture and storage (CCS) has proven inadequate. Two projects in Alberta have been cancelled. This project if it successful will store 1Mt of CO2. Other CCS projects have failed.
August Announced $281 million to support the development of clearn energy technologies. Compare this with $1.4 billion in fossil fuel subsidies.
September Announced $195 million to improve energy efficiency in Canadian buildings and industries.  
November Committed $148.8 million to help address the impacts of climate change on Canadians.  
September Committed $600.8 million over five years to Government of Canada climate change and clean air programs.  
December Announced a total of $1.2 billion in fast-start financing to support developing countries.  
December Supported the Durban Platform for Enhanced Action at COP 17, which moves us towards an international climate change treaty by 2020 that includes all major emitters.  


Month Spin Facts
February Launched the Climate and Clean Air Coalition to Reduce Short-Lived Climate Pollutants alongside international partners.  
February Joined the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves, which aims to reduce emissions of black carbon, a short-lived climate pollutant.  
February Provided $10 million in fast-start financing to address short-lived pollutants.  
June Released Canada's Action Plan to Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Aviation.  
August Canada is half way there in its national effort to meet its Copenhagen target. “The combined efforts to date of federal, provincial and territorial governments, of consumers and of businesses will generate half the GHG reduction required to meet Canada’s GHG target by 2020,” said Canada’s Environment Minister, the Honourable Peter Kent. “This is progress but more work is required, and the Harper government is continuing to implement its sector-by-sector regulatory approach to achieve the additional reductions needed for Canada to meet its target.”
Half way in time or what?
Our emissions in 2005 were 740Mt and our target is 607Mt. Half way there should be 673Mt, The most recent numbers published by Environment Canada (2011) were 702Mt. Therefore our emissions were 29Mt greater than they would be if we were halfway there. The 2012 numbers are not published yet so that gives the government wiggle room.
The difference in emissions between our base year and our target are 133Mt. 29Mt is only 21.8% of that number so the truth is that we are less than a quarter of the way. But perhaps they mean that we are half of the way to where we ought to be now. Even that doesn't figure . 2011 is 40% of the way there so, in 2011, we ought to have been 53Mt under our starting emissions - that is 687Mt - compare this to 702Mt. Perhaps they got rid of everyone with mathematical skills in the Ministry of the Environment!
September Released final regulations to reduce GHG emissions from col=al-fired electicity generation.  
November Released proposed regulations to reduce GHG emissions from passenger cars and light trucks modles years 2017 and beyond.  
December Supported the Doha Climate Gateway at the COP 18 climate chane conference.  


Month Spin Facts
February In its first year, membership to the Climate and Clean Air Coalition to Reduce Short-lived Climate Pollutants frew from six founding countries to over 50 members. Doesn't appear to be a Canadian action.
February Released final regulations to reduce GHG emissions from heavy-duty vehicles such as full-size pick-ups, semi trucks, garbage trucks and buses.  
April Announced an additional $10 million addition to the Climate and Clean Air Coalition to Reduce Short-Lived Climate Pollutants.  
April Between 2005 and 2011, the economy grew by 8.4% while Canadian GHG emissions decreased by 4.8%. Relative to which year?