Federal government admits deliberately leaving numbers out that indicate pollution from oilsands production outstrips auto emissions
The federal government has acknowledged that it deliberately excluded data indicating a 20 per cent increase in pollution from Canada's oilsands industry in 2009 from a recent 567-page report on climate change that it was required to submit to the United Nations.
The numbers, uncovered by Postmedia News, were left out of the report, a national inventory on Canada's greenhouse gas pollution. Overall, the report revealed a six per cent drop in annual emissions for the entire economy from 2008 to 2009, but does not directly show the extent of pollution from the oilsands production, which is now greater than the greenhouse gas emissions of all the cars driven on Canadian roads.
The data also indicated that emissions per barrel of oil produced by the sector is increasing, despite claims made by the industry in an advertising campaign.
"The oilsands remain Canada's fastest-growing source of greenhouse gas pollution, and they're the subject of a huge amount of attention and scrutiny in Canada and internationally," said Clare Demerse, director of climate change at the Pembina Institute, an Albertabased environmental research group. "So it's very disappointing to see Environment Canada publish a 500-page report that leaves out these critical numbers -especially when last year's edition included them."
Overall, Environment Canada said that the oilsands industry was responsible for about 6.5 per cent of Canada's annual greenhouse gas emissions in 2009, up from five per cent in 2008. This also indicates a growth in emissions that is close to about 300 per cent since 1990, which cancel out many reductions in pollution from other economic sectors.