The Canadian government quietly cut its greenhouse gas emissions target for 2010-2012 this week, unleashing a firestorm of criticism from the opposition on Friday.
The new target was published late Wednesday by the environment ministry in a report titled "A Climate Change Plan for the Purposes of the Kyoto Protocol Implementation Act."
It outlines CO2 cuts of five million tonnes in 2010, followed by eight million and 10 million tonnes fewer emissions in 2011 and 2012, respectively.
The government had set reduction targets in the annual report last year of 52 million tonnes for 2010, and 64-74 million tonnes in subsequent years.
"The numbers say it all: this government's inaction on climate change means actual emissions will grow in absolute terms every year until 2012," lamented opposition Liberal MP David McGuinty, describing the results as "appalling."
McGuinty was echoed by other opposition parties in the House of Commons.
Canada aligned itself with the United States in January in setting a 2020 carbon emissions target of 17 percent below 2005 levels.
Environmentalists panned the plan, saying it would lead to a 2.5 percent increase in Canada's CO2 emissions from 1990 levels, in contrast to Ottawa's previous plan announced in 2006 to cut emissions by three percent.
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