OTTAWA — Canada will set a target for reducing greenhouse gas emissions that will be "similar" to those of other industrialised nations, Prime Minister Stephen Harper said on Thursday after the country published higher historical emissions data.
The new target, he said, would be announced in May.
"It's unlikely our targets will be exactly the same as the United States, but they will be targets of similar levels of ambition to other major industrialised countries," Harper said.
The prime minister has repeatedly called for a continental approach to tackling climate change.
Canada had set a target for reducing emissions by 17 per cent below their 2005 levels by 2020, but Ottawa said it would miss the mark.
Recently Canada revised its emissions data from 1990 to 2013 under new UN reporting rules, showing it had higher carbon dioxide emissions each year and a doubling of emissions from its oil sands.
Last month, the US government formally pledged to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 26-28 per cent from 2005 levels within the next decade.
The European Union is planner to go even further with deeper cuts.
In December, global leaders are expected to meet in Paris to thrash out a binding mechanism for reducing emissions.
A government report noted that Canada is one of the highest per-capita CO2 emitters, but added that it represents less than two per cent of global emissions.
Harper said "there will have to be additional regulatory measures going forward to achieve the targets."
However he said he would not consider bringing in a carbon tax, or any measure that might "kill jobs."
"Anybody who tells you that a carbon tax is an environmental policy is trying to pull the wool over your eyes," he said.
"The reason they do carbon taxes, it's not to reduce emissions but put more tax revenue in the government's pocket." — AFP