Will the struggle to meet emissions targets hurt relations with Washington?

Canada says it is missing key targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions, echoing what critics have long been saying.

David McLaughlin, former president and CEO of the now disbanded National Roundtable on the Environment and the Economy told The West Block with Tom Clark that the revelations could mean more delays on the United States rendering a decision on the Keystone XL pipeline.

The potential environmental impact of the proposed pipeline and Canada’s environmental record are two sticking points delaying the decision on the pipeline. With the recent news on Canada’s emissions, the country isn’t offering anything up that could make it easier for the U.S. administration to take a step forward on Keystone, McLaughlin said.

Canada committed to bringing emissions 17 per cent below 2005 levels by 2020.

In a recent report to the UN, Environment Canada says the country is not on track to reach that goal.

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While countries like the United States are making progress on their targets, Canada’s emissions are only heading up, and the government report indicates the country’s current policies don’t do enough to reign them in.

Although Canada hasn’t yet reached the point of no return, McLaughlin said, the longer the country delays getting on track, the tougher doing so will become and the more it will cost.