News Releases

News Release - Manitoba

October 25, 2017

PROVINCE RESPONDS TO AUDITOR GENERAL'S REPORT ON MANAGING CLIMATE CHANGE


Report Indicates Inaction, Under Reporting and Insignificant Progress on Emissions Reductions by Previous Government: Squires

Earlier today, the Office of the Auditor General (OAG) released its report on the provincial government’s lack of action and poor management of climate change under the previous administration, Sustainable Development Minister Rochelle Squires said today, adding the report indicates that despite a global focus on addressing climate change, Manitoba has seen little change in greenhouse-gas emissions over the past decade. 

“We have known for many years that climate change is a real and growing concern that is already impacting the world we live in,” said Squires.  “Considering the very real threat of climate change, the findings of the auditor general’s report are very alarming.  The previous government boasted about taking action on climate change but the auditor general’s report clearly shows they failed to produce any results.” 

In the report, the auditor general states:  “Despite the efforts of the department and government over the past decade, there has been little change in Manitoba’s greenhouse gas emissions… There was no regular progress reporting on whether the climate change project was on time, on budget, and going to achieve its stated goals.” 

The report also notes, the department was aware by the fall of 2009 the initiatives in its 2008 plan would be insufficient to meet the 2012 target enshrined in The Climate Change and Emissions Reductions Act.  The department didn’t update the 2008 plan or the original emissions target until December 2015. 

In the report, the auditor general cites the most recent National Inventory Report on greenhouse-gas emissions, which is accumulated by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.  This emissions report documented levels in Manitoba in each year from 2005 to 2015, when the province’s emissions regressed to 20.8 megatonnes in 2015 from 20.6 megatonnes in 2005, fluctuating from 19.4 to 21.3 megatonnes in that period.  Over the decade, Manitoba’s reduction of per capita greenhouse-gas emissions fell two per cent below the national average on emissions progress. 

The report includes the assessment that there were significant gaps in management processes for reducing greenhouse-gas emissions and weak management processes for adapting to climate change impacts.  Key findings and conclusions contained in the report include:

  • The department was aware by the fall of 2009 the initiatives in its 2008 plan would be insufficient to meet the 2012 target enshrines in The Climate Change and Emissions Reductions Act.  However, the department didn’t update the 2008 plan or the original emissions target until 2015.
  • The December 2015 plan had only high-level strategies.  It lacked accompanying details, as well as estimates of expected emissions reductions and costs.
  • There was no regular progress reporting on whether the climate-change project was on time, on budget and going to achieve its stated goals.
  • After the plan’s 2012 target was missed, the inter-departmental progress monitoring was discontinued.
  • The department did not promptly review and update its 2008 climate change plan and related 2012 target once it became apparent that the plan needed updating. (pg. 14)
  • We (the OAG) expected the department to set both short-term and long-term targets, and that these targets would be supported by economic and scientific analysis.  However, this was not the case. (pg. 15)
  • The department conducted no economic or scientific analyses in setting the 2008 and 2015 targets. (pg. 15)
  • There was no regular progress reporting on whether the climate change project was on time, on budget, and ongoing to achieve its stated goals. (pg. 19)

“On Friday, we will announce a made-in-Manitoba approach to addressing climate change that will meaningfully reduce greenhouse-gas emissions and improve the environmental health and sustainability of our province for future generations,” added Squires.  “Through extensive consultations, this plan has truly been developed by Manitobans and for Manitobans.  The plan will pave the way for our province to being Canada’s cleanest, greenest and most climate resilient province.” 

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