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Canada's emissions target gets further away as 2017 report shows increase

Minister of Environment and Climate Change Catherine McKenna speaks to reporters during a press conference on the Climate Action Incentive at a Canadian Tire store in Ottawa on Monday, March 4, 2019. Canada's greenhouse gas emissions edged up for the first time in three years in 2017, pushing the country even further away from its international climate change commitments. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang

OTTAWA — Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions edged up for the first time in three years in 2017, pushing the country even further away from its international climate change commitments.

The 2017 national inventory report shows the total amount of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas emissions produced in Canada hit 716 million tonnes, up from 708 million tonnes a year earlier.

It was the first substantial increase in overall greenhouse gas emissions from Canada since 2014, and the bulk of the increase came from oil and gas production.

Small increases were also seen in manufacturing, residential energy use and agriculture. 

The emissions report follows one released two weeks ago that said Canada is warming twice as fast as the rest of the world, which was made public under the backdrop of a pitched political battle over the new federal carbon tax.

Canada is aiming to get its emissions to 511 million tonnes by 2030 to meet its international commitment under the Paris climate change agreement, but international experts say that is far shy of what the country needs to do.

The Canadian Press