U.S. Scientists Say Environment Canada’s Cuts Threaten the Future of Science and International Agreements


Published: Feb 15, 2012

In August 2011, hundreds of Environment Canada scientists and staff working on environmental monitoring received notice their positions were targeted for elimination. Ray Hoff, Professor of Physics, at UMBC and his colleagues published a commentary this week in the American Geophysical Union’s publication Eos criticizing Environment Canada’s cuts, the first such criticism from U.S. scientists.

Hoff and his colleagues say that research conducted by scientists in Canada has been instrumental in the success of international agreements such as the Montreal Protocol, international legislation that has successfully reduced atmospheric levels of ozone depleting substances.

Other international agreements that may be endangered by the cuts are the Vienna Convention to Protect Ozone Layer, the Ottawa Declaration, Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement, U.S. Canada Air Quality Agreement, and the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change.

With the loss of so many scientists who conduct environmental research in this part of the world, say Hoff and his colleagues, it is not clear whether Canada will be able to keep its commitment to these agreements.

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