False promise

Published: Tuesday 30 June 1998

canada has failed to meet international environmental commitments, show two reports tabled in Parliament. Though the country has signed nearly 230 international environmental agreements, it has not been able to enforce proper mechanisms to meet those obligations.

Brian Emmett, the country's first auditor general, said that Canada has a good record of making innovative promises but not such a good record of living up to them. The government has no effective plans to meet its commitments made during 1992 Earth Summit to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and preserve biodiversity.

At present, Canada's environmental record is facing fresh scrutiny under the North American Free trade Agreement ( nafta ) that requires Canada, the us and Mexico to enforce environmental laws. The report warns that the Canada government may soon face legal actions for regulatory negligence. The country has not even implemented the treaty signed during the Rio convention on biodiversity. At present, the implementation level of the treaty is at such an initial stage that even a full audit is not possible, Emmett said.

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