Canada has no chance of meeting its targets under the Kyoto accord and must set more realistic goals for cutting greenhouse gases, the federal environment minister says.
"My departmental officials and the department officials from natural resources have indicated that it is impossible, impossible for Canada to reach its Kyoto targets," Rona Ambrose said Friday.
"And let me be clear. I have been engaging with our international counterparts over the past month, and we are not the only country that is finding itself in this situation."
The international agreement requires Canada to cut its greenhouse gas emissions to six per cent below 1990 levels by 2012
But since 1990, emissions have gone up, with the latest figures showing an increase of almost 30 per cent.
Ambrose said the government might consider setting new targets.
"We have to work with all of our industry sectors that are obviously the causes of emissions and pollution on ways to reduce pollution and greenhouse gases and they're willing, they're very willing to work with the government. So that's our next step."
Countries that fail to meet their emissions targets by the end of the first commitment period (2012) must make up the difference plus a penalty of 30 per cent in the second commitment period.
NDP Leader Jack Layton said part of the blame falls on the Liberals, who ratified Kyoto without a plan on how to meet the targets.
But Layton said the Conservatives are tossing in the towel too early, because there are still six years to meet the targets.