Two green programs that were supposed to reduce Canada’s GHG emissions lack ways to track their environmental benefit and emissions reduction, according to an audit conducted by Canada’s federal environment commissioner, Scott Vaughan, Toronto Star reports.
A public transit tax credit announced in 2006 was seen as a way to reduce 220,000 tones of emissions per year from 2008 to 2012. But the audit found that Environment Canada still needs to come up with a way to measure the emissions reductions that resulted from the tax credit. What’s more, the finance department won’t be able to evaluate the tax credit’s impact until 2011, when income tax data become available.
The audit also found that the federal government lacks any way to ensure that the $1.5 billion it hands out for various green programs in provinces is actually spent on those programs. In addition, the audit said there is no scientific basis to claim that a climate-change fund for the provinces will result in an 80-megaton cut in emissions.
Jim Prentice, Canada’s environment minister, said estimates of GHG reductions from the two programs were based on the best available information provided by department officials at the time.