Annex 2: Performance measurement system example

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In order to understand the effects of federal government actions towards achieving the goals and targets in the FSDS, a solid performance measurement system must be in place. Given the FSDS 2010–2013 was released on October 6, 2010 and that reliable data from the 2010 period will not be available for another two years the details of the measurement system can, at best, only be illustrative at this point. 

Indicators included in future Progress Reports will assess progress toward the goals and targets at the broad outcome measures of environmental and socioeconomic issues level; the intermediate outcome measures of key issues level, and the performance measures of government environmental programs and polices (outputs) level. Taken together these indicators logically link to each other, and allow progress to be measured over time. 

Generally, progress toward a broad outcome is not always directly attributed to any one factor such as a government program or policy, however, the link between the broad outcome and government actions can be demonstrated, documented and made transparent. Moving from the program performance measure to the state of the environment measure, the direct attribution to any one factor is reduced - nonetheless, the logical links between the programs and outcomes remain.

Greenhouse gas emissions are an exception. Sufficiently sophisticated analytical and simulation tools have been developed to enable reasonable, quantifiable estimates of the impact of government actions on emissions now, and in the future. 

The broad climate change outcome indicator seen below has been historically used to track national greenhouse gas emissions. It illustrates the combined progress of Canadians and their governments towards meeting the absolute target of reducing Canada’s total greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 17% from 2005 levels by 2020.1

National greenhouse gas emissions, Canada, 1990 to 20092

The graph of national greenhouse gas emissions, Canada, 1990 to 2009.

Long description

The line chart shows Canada's national greenhouse gas emissions in megatonnes of CO2 equivalent from 1990 to 2009.

Canada’s 2009 GHG emissions decreased 6% (42 Mt) to 732 Mt, from the 2008 level of 732 Mt. This was the second year in a row that national emissions declined.

The Government of Canada, along with the provincial and territorial governments, is actively engaged in various programs and policies to reduce GHG emissions from the energy and transportation sectors, to increase capacity of Canadians and industry to adapt to climate change.

The government performance indicators (output) follow the progress of specific government programs and polices implemented to reduce emissions, for example, regulatory, market-based, and fiscal measures (FSDS implementation strategies 1.1.8, 1.1.25, and Where possible the expected and achieved GHG emission reductions are attributed to particular actions. 

Due to the significant analytical capacity developed over time, the ability exists to isolate the effects of Government of Canada and provincial and territorial government actions and measure progress of those actions in meeting the reduction target.

Government actions to meet reduction target3

The Graph Shows Government Expected Actions

Long description

The figure shows two lines on a graph spanning the years 1990 to 2020. One line shows that without government action, emissions in 2020 are projected to be 850 Mt. The other line shows that with government action, emissions in 2020 are projected to be 785 Mt. Current government actions will mean 65 Mt fewer greenhouse gas emissions than would have been the case had there been no government action. This shows that an additional reduction of 178 Mt is required to meet Canada's emissions reduction target of 607 Mt or 17% below 2005 levels.

Current Government actions are expected to reduce by one quarter (25%) or 65 Mt of the GHG emissions. An additional 178 Mt reduction is required to meet 100% of Canada’s 2020 target. 

[1] This target meets the SMART criteria and as such clearly sets out expectations and indicates how progress can be reported. Striving to establish ‘SMART’ targets in future strategies raises the bar on the quality of our targets and our ability to report on them, thereby improving transparency. 

[3] Environment Canada E3MC Model Projection

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